Did you know that the great state of Utah has a few specialty crops growing right here at home? Utah Public Radio has a new series to tell you all about the fruit, nuts, spices, herbs, and other special products made from those things. Apricots are one of the tastiest specialty crops, along with raspberries, apples, potatoes, and jams, jellies, salsas made from those crops.
Getting these specialty crops at farmers’ markets, or right on the farm from the farmer or gardener, is a great way to eat really fresh, locally grown foods and to keep the money you spend in your town.
Do you grow any specialty crops at your own garden? Listen to the radio show and see what you can learn! You can tune in to Utah Public Radio (UPR) to hear Cropping Up during Thursday Morning Edition (6-9 a.m.) and Friday’s All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) or listen to the episodes podcast-style on the UPR website.
What can you make with a locally grown specialty crop food? Consider the tomato!
There are thousands of different kinds of tomatoes out there, from tiny and sweet, to giant and juicy, and in nearly every color you can imagine growing in Utah. You can eat them fresh, or cook them into dishes or even make them in to sauce! Even though tomatoes originated in South America, once they were taken to Europe and spread across the globe, many cultures added them to their meals and created new and delicious dishes. Italians are famous for using them in sauce, and in Nepal and India, tomatoes are part of spicy sauces and sweet chutneys.
Utah summer veggies like zucchini and yellow squash taste wonderful with fresh local tomatoes. Try out this easy recipe with any color tomatoes you grew at home, or can find at your local market. Remember, there are no rules; if you have yellow squash and eggplant instead of zucchini, add them instead! Have fresh basil growing in your window or yard? Toss that in too!