Sweet corn: yum! (c) Marc Sheffner via Flickr
I just came back from vacation visiting my family in southern Indiana. My parents live in the same house I grew up in, and I have fond memories of the summer days when Mom and I would go back to the garden for corn. I held the pan while she plucked the ears from their stalks. We’d take them in, clean off any silks left and heated the water. We’d put the corn in the boiling water and cook just until it was tender. Some nights I think I made an entire meal from corn. To this day, I relish the fresh, just-picked sweetness of an ear of corn.
So, when I opened my e-mail this week, I had good news waiting for me: Apple Annie’s says they’re opening today! I’m anxious to get some more of those fresh veggies. That’s the beauty of summer, and the beauty of eating local foods. When you’re in Cochise County, stop by any of the farms in and near Willcox to enjoy the lush gifts from the garden!
Here’s the scoop on Apple Annie’s:
The farm will open for the season on Wednesday, June 24. We will have already picked sweet corn, summer squash, green beans, hot house tomatoes, apricots and peaches. You-pick summer squash and green beans are also available.
Apple Annie’s Produce & Pumpkins will be open daily from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. For more information and directions please visit www.appleannies .com.
If you’re looking for a reason why you should eat locally, you might want to read In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan. It makes a case for shopping at farmers markets and eating non-processed foods.
You’ll also find four farmers markets in Cochise County. Bisbee and Sierra Vista have long had farmers markets. Douglas and St. David started them just this year.
Say this in your best Homer Simpson voice. CHOCOLÁTE, Spirited Artisan Chocolate, will open this weekend in Bisbee. This new shop will feature hand made chocolates! Is there anything better? Maybe wine… but I digress.
On Saturday, December 13 from 5-9 p.m., CHOCOLÁTE will hold its grand opening. The shop is located at 134 Tombstone Canyon Road, Bisbee. It’s just down the road from the Iron Man sculpture if you’re familiar with Bisbee.
I’m going to be there. Will you?
The Wall Street Journal’s wine columnists, Dorthy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, had a presidential taste-off with wines selected from Illinois and Arizona vineyards.
Chiricahua Mountains make a great backdrop for the vineyards. Photo: Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards
Of the three vintages they tasted, Keeling Schaefer Vineyards’ Three Sisters 2006 fared well. The winery is located in the foothills of the Chiricahua Mountains. Dos Cabezas Wine Works and Page Springs Cellars were also tasted. They have good notes for all three Arizona wines. Bostock Winery makes Dos Cabezas’ Viognier they tasted.
The heart of Arizona’s wine industry is in Cochise County. That’s where most of the grapes have been grown over the years. Sonoita is the well-known wine market for Arizona, but Willcox and the mountainous regions surrounding the town, famous for Rex Allen, the singing cowboy, are making serious inroads in the winemaking biz. The wine industry has been active for more than 25 years, and visiting u-pick farms is a great way to enjoy local foods.
So, which state won? Arizona! No telling if this taste-off will have any impact on the election on Nov. 4, but the results were interesting.