Celebrate July 4 weekend with “Michigan Fresh” fruit
posted on June 28, 2012 8:40am
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EAST LANSING, Mich. –A fresh fruit salad combining Michigan grown berries can top off that Independence Day picnic or family gathering. Learn more about growing, preparing and preserving small fruits like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with help from Michigan State University (MSU) Extension’s “Michigan Fresh” program.
Beginning July 4, Michigan residents can find blueberry and growing small fruits (bulletin numbers HNI 98 and E3171, respectively) factsheets at local farmers markets or the MSU Extension Bookstore. Michigan Fresh features information on preserving, creative uses, preparing and recommended varieties of small fruits and blueberries for Michigan residents interested in consuming these fresh foods.
The small fruit factsheet guides readers through the process of growing, protecting and buying strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and grapes. A home garden is one way to enjoy small fruit at their peak ripeness, but there are many considerations to account for before planting small fruit seeds.
Small fruits require sandy soils and plenty of sunlight to produce the highest-quality fruit. Small fruit must be protected from pests once the fruits start to form. Nets or fences may be needed to prevent rabbits, deer and birds from damaging plants or eating fruits. The fact sheet also guides readers through the advantages and disadvantages of buying from a garden center or from a catalog.
The blueberry fact sheet focuses on preserving, handling and storing blueberries. It has information on canning and freezing blueberries, so readers can enjoy the vitamin-packed fruit year-round. The fact sheet also includes tips on handling and storing blueberries to ensure they maintain their nutrients and do not spoil.
Every week this summer, Michigan Fresh fact sheets will feature information on varieties, storage, food safety and preservation for Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamentals. The fact sheets will be available online and at select farmers markets across Michigan.
Michigan Fresh is an educational program from MSU Extension. The program helps people explore the state’s bounty of fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamentals. To learn more, visit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/programs/mi_fresh/.