You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers! As many of you know, Little Wagon Produce can be found at many local farmer’s markets in Sussex County. Here’s the questions (and answers) Mom and I witnessed the most from consumers at local farmer’s markets in Delaware this past year:
#5 Question: Do you have strawberries?
Answer: It depends on when you ask us! On Delmarva, strawberries typically ripen in May. Sometimes it’s early May. Sometimes it’s late May. It’s rarely before May because the threat of frost usually lasts until May 15. It’s rarely in June because the temperature becomes too hot. As you can tell, strawberries are fickle. Too much rain, they rot. Too much heat, they get mushy. Too cold, they don’t ripen. Therefore, if you see a farmer with strawberries in July and August, they aren’t from the Delmarva Peninsula! And that’s why we don’t sell strawberries in July. We try to only sell produce which we grow. I often take this Availability Chart below, provided by DDA, and post it to help customers understand.
#4 Question: Are you organic?
Answer: No. Why? Because Farmer Dan learned how to farm the conventional way and wants to keep prices reasonable for our customers. He has a pesticide license and only sprays the vegetables when he sees evidence of an insect or weed. He does not spray sporadically because chemicals are very expensive.
Research shows that organic does not necessarily mean a healthier product. A recent review of over 400 scientific papers concluded organic and conventional foods remain equally healthy. In order to be certified organic, we would have purchase an expensive license, buy and plant more seed so that we have enough yields, and employ more labor to remove weeds by hand. This is the reason organic produce costs more.
Our advice? Simply wash your produce thoroughly, whether it’s organic or not! I love this video from a farmer in Kentucky who shares her take, as a mother and farmer, on organic produce:
#3 Question: Can I freeze corn?
Answer: YES! Many customers share ways that they freeze it. Here’s one way how:
#2 Question: How long does sweet corn last?
Answer: The best way to store fresh corn, besides freezing, is to keep it cool. We recommend storing it in the refrigerator and leaving it in the husk when storing. The husk protects it from the air, which causes it to dry out. Our super sweet corn varieties last up to 7 days if kept in the refrigerator! Trust us, it works!
And the #1 Question: Is your corn GMO?
Answer: No. Why? Genetically modified sweet corn seed has not been available long. We have chosen not to purchase it. This type of seed tends to be more expensive and we don’t feel it is worth the cost because we are not growing large amounts for a cannery, etc. Most vegetable seeds are not GMO altered. Currently, there are only 8 crops commercially offered from GMO seeds in the U.S. Please check out the graphic below. This website and link offers great insight to GMO answers: www.gmoanswers.com
We look forward to answering more consumer food questions and educating the public at the 2014 Farmer’s Markets! Happy New Year!