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SELECTION OF OHIO FRUIT CROPS MAKES IT A SUMMER TO SAVOR

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- With strawberry harvest complete or rapidly drawing to a close, fresh fruit lovers can now turn their attention to raspberries, blueberries and cherries which are ready now in some places in the state and will be ready soon all over Ohio. Not far behind will be blackberries, peaches and early apples.
 Growers are predicting an average to good year for the summer fruit crops they produce, but Dale Stokes, secretary of the Ohio Fruit Growers Society, warns that the recent surge of hot weather is causing fruit to ripen quickly and may shorten the time it is available.
 Stokes said that "anyone interested in picking or purchasing fresh fruit should be aware that when fruit begins to ripen large quantities may suddenly be ready and may not last as long as expected."
 Stokes, who farms near Wilmington, has 35 acres of black raspberries and 15 acres of red raspberries which he planned to begin picking on June 28. He is predicting what he calls a nice average to good crop this year.
 Harvest of royalty purple raspberries and blueberries on the Dan Rouster farm at Milford in the Cincinnati area is scheduled to begin on July 4. Rouster said that both varieties of blackberries that they grow will be ready the third week of July or perhaps a few days earlier.
 East of Columbus and north of the village of Pataskala, Lynd Fruit Farm will open its tart cherry orchard to pick-your-own enthusiasts on July 5. An excellent cherry crop is anticipated there.
 Steve Beilstein who owns two blueberry operations, one in the Mansfield area and another near Mt. Vernon, is very pleased with his crop. He says it is developing very nicely. He is expecting a larger than normal crop. Sometime between July 4 and 8 the first blueberries will be picked on the Beilstein farms.
 Some of the state's earliest peaches will again be harvested at Fuhrmann Orchards near Wheelersburg in southern Ohio. Very early varieties like Garnet Beauty will probably be ready the week of July 4.
 Predictions are for a good peach crop and a huge apple crop this year according to Mike Pullins, executive director of the Ohio Fruit Growers Society. Blueberry harvest, if temperatures are moderate, can last up to four to six weeks, while summer bearing raspberries and blackberries are in season only two or three weeks. The season for tart cherries is even shorter because all of the cherries on a tree tend to ripen at about the same time. Peach season which begins in July in southern Ohio will continue into September in the north. Early apple varieties begin ripening in July but late varieties may not all be harvested in the northern part of the state until almost November.
 Growers of raspberries, blueberries, cherries, blackberries and peaches are scattered over most of the state but it may require a few phone calls to locate quantities of fresh homegrown summer fruit. However, the reward in good taste and healthful eating can make the time spent well worth it.
 RED RASPBERRY DELIGHT
 CAKE:
 2 cups all-purpose flour
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 tablespoon baking powder
 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
 1 cup sugar
 1 egg, room temperature
 1 cup milk, room temperature
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 3-1/2 cups fresh raspberries, whole, unsweetened
 GLAZE:
 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
 2 tablespoons cream or milk with melted butter
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 Stir together first three ingredients in a bowl with wire whisk; set aside. Cream softened butter with mixer; add sugar gradually, beating well after each addition, until mixture is fluffy and light. Stir in egg; beat one minute. Combine milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk/vanilla mixture, beating well after each addition. Spread cake batter in greased, floured 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Spread the berries evenly over top of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until center of cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool five minutes. Combine glaze ingredients; spread over cake, leaving berries exposed. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. 16 to 20 servings.
 BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
 1 cup whole wheat flour
 1 cup unbleached white flour or 1 cup oat flour
 1/2 cup sugar
 2 teaspoons baking powder
 1-1/2 cups blueberries
 2 eggs
 1/3 cup milk
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 1/4 cup vegetable oil
 Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl and mix well. Add the berries and gently toss to coat them. Beat in eggs, milk, oil and vanilla together and carefully mix the liquid into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan so that they are filled almost to the top. Makes 10 or 11 plump muffins.
 -0- 6/25/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Pullins of the Ohio Fruit Growers Society, 614-249-2424/


CO: Ohio Fruit Growers Society ST: Ohio IN: AGR SU:

KL -- CL014 -- 5881 06/25/93 16:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 25, 1993
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