Summer Offers Many Ways to Save on Fresh Produce

Why pay a premium for fruits and veggies at the local grocery store when you can plant or pick your own for a fraction of the cost?

Summer is a fantastic time to be savvy in your savings. Our area offers a lush environment in which we can grow our own tasty summer treats at very minimal investment – often just a dollar or two per plant.

And if you purchase perennials, your harvest will repeat itself year after year.

Some ideas of easy things to grow in any yard include:

  • Fresh mint
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Tomatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Rhubarb

Even if you don’t have a yard in which to grow these fruits, veggies, and herbs, many can be planted in pots and grown on a porch or other sunny area outside of the home. It doesn't take much of a green thumb to have success with these plants.

Take a walk around your local park and you might even find some free raspberries growing along the property line. Once you know the good spots, you can return year after year! (Just beware of which often likes to share ground with raspberry bushes.)

We also have access to several local orchards, farms and farmers’ markets offering fresh, affordable produce, which keeps our dollars in our wallet rather than overpaying for imported fruits and veggies from the grocery store.

Plus, it’s always nice to support our local farmers.

Some of the local “pick-your-own” farms include:

  • Bob White Acres - Coopersburg
  • George Schmidt Berry Farm - New Tripoli
  • Strawberry Acres - Coplay
  • - Allentown

Be sure to call ahead to hear what produce is fresh and in season. And if you head over to one of them, make sure to bring a basket, bucket or bag to collect your goods.

Right now blueberries are in peak season, so stock up on as many pounds as you can store. They're great for baking, smoothies, topping your cereal or just snacking on!

Bob White Acres is offering blueberries at $1.75/pound.

Freezing them and using them throughout the year is also a great way to enjoy this very nutritious fruit without paying up to $4/pint in the off-season.

Apples and peaches are soon to follow.

In August, you can pick your own peaches for as little as .65/pound when they’re often as much as $1.99/pound in grocery stores. In the off-season, peaches are difficult to find, so slicing and freezing fresh peaches is a true treat during the cold winter months.

Most "pick-your-own" orchards also offer a produce stand where you can quickly purchase already picked fruits and veggies for a slightly higher cost if you don't have time to do it yourself. The prices are still much more affordable than grocery stores, and you know the products are locally grown.

If you plan your summer picking accordingly, you can stock up on enough fresh fruit and veggies to keep your family happy at minimal cost throughout the year.

Heather N. July 11, 2011 at 07:43 PM
Can you tell us which, if any, of these listed farms uses integrated pest management or does not spray pesticides?
Jenae Holtzhafer July 11, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Hi Heather! I'm honestly not sure off the top of my head. I know the Rodale Institute also has some available produce for purchase (apples, pumpkins, etc). They use an organic clay formula. Their orchards are located in Kutztown. I'm sure if you called the others they could fill you in. They're all very friendly. Here is a link to other organic farms in PA. Hope it helps! http://organic.lovetoknow.com/Organic_Farms_in_Pennsylvania
Mary Terp (Ebby) July 12, 2011 at 10:52 AM
I'm just now launching a gardening services company specializing in the installation and maintenance of chemical-free vegetable, fruit and herb gardens in your yard for the Macungie area! 10% off summer and fall installations! www.PlentifulGardens.com
Heather N. July 13, 2011 at 01:37 AM
Thanks, Jenae! That helps. Looks like we will be paying a visit to County Line Orchard in Kempton!


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