Strawberry season is a big deal in Central Florida. Plant City and surrounding farms within a 40-mile range are responsible for nearly 300 million pounds of strawberries each year. With that kind of production, its no wonder it's the self proclaimed “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World”. Peak season, the time that you can get the world's sweetest berries on your table, runs from December to March. The Annual Strawberry Festival celebrates the season along with countless roadside farm stands, bountiful u-pick fields, and the best strawberry shortcake that folks wait hours to enjoy.
I have long been an advocate for using seasonal produce in my kitchen. It’s a small way for me to support my local farmers and regional economy and, frankly, I like to use seasonal produce because it is more flavorful and higher quality. I’m a firm believer that if you can have less time between the field and the plate, everything ends up tasting better.
Many people don’t know this, but beets and cake have history together. For someone who loves vegetables and learning about how they’ve been used in recipes over time, I was thrilled to find some fascinating information about beets and cake in some of my favorite cookbooks. I learned that during World War II, many recipes substituted beet juice for red food coloring in their red velvet cakes. So I set out to make my own red velvet beet cake that would appease my veggie-loving connection-driven mind.
From oranges and lemons, to grapefruit and more, citrus fruits are among the most abundant crops grown in Florida. And whether they’re eaten whole or squeezed into a beverage, each type of citrus juice is packed with an abundance of great nutrients—much more than just Vitamin C.
In IMPAC's newest episode of the Your Food, Your Farmer podcast, Danny Kushmer (IMPAC's Executive Director) interviews Christian Spinosa (General Manager of Beef and Citrus Operations for Dudley Putnam Inc.) to share his experience with raising cattle and processing citrus for his business.
Being a working mom is challenging in many ways. It’s a constant give-and-take, push-and-pull balancing act: I feel guilty when I’m not at home with my kids, and I feel guilty when my attention is taken away from work, too. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.
In the flagship episode of IMPAC's podcast—Your Food, Your Farmer—I spend some time chatting with Lori Taylor, otherwise known as The Produce Mom®.
I always preach that every meal should be savored, but sometimes busy schedules dictate that meals have to be savored on-the-go.
I grew up on a farm in Deep Run, North Carolina. We had chickens, hogs that wallowed in the mud, two cows and, for whatever reason, peacocks; but primarily, my parents grew tobacco until I was about 10 years old.
Not all produce is created equal. When it comes down to it, there are just some fruits and veggies that simply can’t take the heat. Cucumber, lettuce, watermelon—they're all totally delicious when chilled, but are also equally not when served warm.