Guide to Reuse & Recycle Pumpkins Post Halloween HolidayEvery year from mid-September until Halloween we flock to local farmer’s markets to buy and collect fresh, bright orange pumpkins for painting, carving and decorations. But when the calendar turns to November many get tossed in the trash awaiting garbage pickup and end up rotting in a landfill. If you’re wondering if there is a more eco-friendly way to recycle pumpkins, refer to our list below of easy ways you can repurpose your pumpkin after Halloween ends! Please keep in mind that many of these methods can only be applied to unpainted pumpkins as the toxins in paint can be harmful to the environment, humans and wildlife animals.
8 Simple Ways to Recycle, Repurpose & Reuse Halloween PumpkinsDonate: Almost all zoos, animal shelters, farms and community gardens will happily accept donated pumpkins and repurpose them for compost, animal food and more! Call around to local farms and organizations to confirm they will take your pumpkin before you make the drive. Roast Pumpkin Seeds: A classic and healthy snack that is so simple to make! Scoop the innards out of the pumpkin and separate the seeds from the guts. Wash thoroughly, dry and toss with oil & your preferred seasonings and make until roasted. Make Pumpkin Puree: As Thanksgiving is now approaching, you’ll probably be buying lots of pumpkin pie. If you want to recycle your pumpkin and save some money, make your own puree for pies and soups! Pumpkin Planter: Add soil to your pumpkin about 1/3 full, place your plant inside the pumpkin and top with more soil. Place the entire pumpkin planter into your garden. Over time it will naturally break down adding an organic fertilizer! Feed the Wildlife: Deer, rabbits, mice, squirrels and chipmunks all love to much on non-painted pumpkins! Cut yours into pieces and leave it in a rural area at a safe distance from your home. Create Compost: Pumpkins break down very quickly and make a great addition to your compost pile! To prevent unwanted plants from sprouting make sure you remove the seeds. Bird Feeder: Birds will love to nibble seeds out of a fresh pumpkin or jack-o-lantern hanging in your backyard! Plant the Seeds: If you’re an avid gardener you can plant the seeds for next season! Visit Fiorentino’s Farm Market this fall season for fresh fruits, vegetables and seasonal Halloween decoration items! We’re open daily through Halloween from 7AM – 8PM, call 609-561-0300 for questions or more information.
The Best Storage and Preservation Tips for Fresh HerbsIf you’re a fresh herb fanatic but don’t have the time or space to grow your own you’ve probably wasted a lot of money throwing away parsley, cilantro, dill, basil and other such herbs you were sure would last in your fridge. Daily trips to the supermarket are not the answer! Fiorentino’s Farm Market shares our best techniques for fresh herb storage and preservation. These tips can be applied to herbs purchased at your local farmers market, supermarket or picked from your own garden!
7-Step Guide to Fresh Herb StorageBefore we get into the ways in which you can enjoy your favorite fresh herbs all year long, we have to differentiate the two categories: Hardy vs. Tender. Hard herbs have a woody stem such as rosemary, thyme, marjoram and oregano. While tender herbs have a soft step and include cilantro, parsley, basil and tarragon. Washing: Some say not to wash herbs because it adds moisture and can lead to quicker wilting. But if they’re not picked fresh from your garden we advise washing all fruits, vegetables and herbs before consumption to remove dirt and debris. Invest in a Salad Spinner: If you’re serious about your fresh herb storage a salad spinner is a must! Not only does this affordable gadget help during the washing process, it also quickly dries the herbs in 2 simple steps. Remove Wilted/Brown Leaves: Trim the ends off the stems and remove any wilted or brown leaves; these can speed up the spoil timeframe and ruin the whole batch. Hardy Herb Storage: Arrange them on a slightly damp paper town in a neat, single layer. Roll the paper town and transfer the bundle into a Zip Lock bag and store in the refrigerator. Tender Herb Storage: Add an inch of water to the bottom of a large Mason jar and add your tender herbs sticking straight up. Seal the jar completely with the lid or, if the herbs are too tall, a plastic band and seal with a rubber band. Store in the refrigerator promptly. Basil Storage: While it is considered a tender herb, the storage of basil is a bit different. Follow the same tender herb storage instructions but leave the basil at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Lifespan: Tender herbs, including basil, will last for 2 – 3 weeks, while hardy herbs can be stored for 1 – 2 weeks. We hope you can use our herb storage instructions and enjoy the fresh taste all year long! Refer to our summer produce preservation guideline to extend the delicious summer season.
Easy Summer Strawberry RecipesFor both kids and adults alike it is hard to ignore a fresh crate of bright red strawberries gleaming in the early summer sun. While eating the batch you’ve just purchased from your local produce market by the handful is a perfectly acceptable option, you may want to consider other ways to cook up your abundance of strawberries. Fiorentino’s Farm Market, a fresh fruit and vegetable market, highlights our 10 all-time favorite strawberry recipes which are perfect for ripe & overripe fruit alike.
10 Delicious Summer Strawberry RecipesStrawberry Shortcake: You can’t feature strawberry recipes without first mentioning this classic dessert! Whether you make from scratch or use premade biscuits, the star of this dish is the fresh strawberries from your local farmers market. Roasted Strawberry, Avocado & Mozzarella Grilled Cheese: Similar to the grilled cheese sandwich featured in our Blueberry Recipes blog, this elevates and puts a unique spin on a classic childhood favorite. Visit Ambitious Kitchen to find the ingredients and preparation steps. Strawberry, Mango & Mint Fruit Salad: An easy and refreshing summer dessert or poolside snack. Simply cut and combine the ingredients and drizzle with a 1 teaspoon of lime juice. Goat Cheese & Strawberry Salad: There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a salad dressed with the freshest produce and ingredients. To make this unique & savory strawberry recipe first lay down a bed of mixed baby greens and top with strawberries, cucumbers, red onion, croutons and drizzle with your favorite vinaigrette. Get the full recipe here, which includes homemade goat cheese croutons! Refreshing Strawberry Lemonade: Puree the strawberries in a blend and strain through a fine sieve to remove any seeds. Add to your favorite store bought or homemade lemonade and sip on this delicious beverage all summer long! Strawberry Salsa: There are so many ways easy ways to whip up strawberry salsa! Eat with crunchy tortilla chips or add on top of grilled chicken or pork. Some of our favorites include:
- Strawberries, avocado, radishes, lime juice & cilantro
- Strawberries, dried cranberries, avocado, crushed red pepper & cilantro
- Strawberries, scallions, radishes, chives, lime juice, avocado, salt & pepper
Refreshing Citrus Recipes to Cook this WinterAs we get inch closer to spring, more and more fruits and vegetables become available for purchase. In the very early season (mid-February thru late-March), citrus fruits are fresh, ripe and readily available. The citrus recipes Fiorentino’s Farm Market highlights below include the use of grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges and tangerines. The sweet and tangy citrus recipes are just what you need to get you through the final push of cold winter weather! Remember, many of your local farmer’s markets are starting to open serving the freshest produce & citrus fruits available.
5 Citrus Recipes to get you through the Cold Winter WeatherLemon Salsa: Combine finely chopped lemons, cucumbers, scallions, chili and sugar into a bowl and let combine for 1 hour. You can use this salsa on top of chicken & vegetable skewers, pork or fish. Citrus Marinate: This easy marinate goes amazing with grilled chicken, pork or fish! Pulse cilantro, garlic, lime & orange zest, lime & orange juices, soy sauce, oil and scallions in a food processor until pureed. Add your meat of choice and let marinate at least 20 minutes then cook and serve. Chocolate Orange Brownie Cookies: Chocolate and orange is one of the most underappreciated dessert combinations. Get this insanely delicious citrus dessert recipe here. Lemon Bars: You can never go wrong with this tangy and sweet classic dessert. Whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour and pour over your pre-bought or pre-baked crust. Dust with powdered sugar and serve. A super easy and delicious winter citrus dessert in 2 easy steps! Citrus Refresher: Guaranteed to be a huge hit at your next wintertime get together! This big pitcher citrus recipe can be served with or without alcohol and has a little extra spice thanks to a few jalapenos. First, juice 4 limes and 6 oranges into a pitcher. In a large saucepan, place a few orange rinds, 1 coarsely chopped jalapeno, sugar and salt and muddle the mixture for about 3 minutes; stir in 1 cup of warm water and set to rest up to 1 hour. Strain the mixture into your large pitcher, mix and serve over ice with club soda or rum!
Year Round Fresh Produce Cooking InspirationAs a fresh and local produce market, Fiorentino’s Farm Market is dedicated to providing our customers with the best available fruits and vegetables, as well as recipes that inspire you to cook! While the wintertime does not afford many options, we guarantee you’ll love these light, zesty and refreshing citrus recipes that are perfect to get you through the last leg of winter! As we get into the spring & summer seasons, expand your recipe repertoire with our summer cherry or blueberry recipes, winter pear dishes and fall apple recipes to enjoy. Check our blog regularly for even more tips (like how to store your summer produce for lasting freshness), tricks and cooking guides.
Delightful Fresh Summer Cherry RecipesAs with many staple Jersey produce items, fresh cherry season is very short-lived. Peak season arrives in mid-June and lasts only about a week! During this time, sweet & tart cherry lovers make their way to the local farmers market to pick up a few buckets and whip up all the staple cherry recipes in their arsenal. From pies and jams to BBQ sauce, cocktails and more, Fiorentino’s Farm Market highlights 5 cool fresh cherry recipes for you to try this summer. If you want to make the season last a little longer, learn how to preserve summer produce easily.
5 Cool Ways to Cook with Fresh CherriesCherry Cobbler: A unique twist on a classic peach recipe! This is a must-have summer treat if you’re going to buy fresh cherries. Remember to serve with whipped cream & vanilla ice cream. Cherry & Carnitas Sandwich: Slow cook fresh cherries & a beef roast in a dutch oven for about 4 hours. Once the meat is done, immersion blend the broth and cooked cherries to create a sweet and savory sauce. Top the meat & coating onto your favorite bread or pretzel roll and garnish with cilantro and green onions. Cherry Cheesecake: Elevate this already decadent dessert with a sweet cherry topping. You can make the cheesecake from scratch or buy from a local bakery. Whip up the topping by heating pitted cherries, sugar, water, cornstarch slurry and almond extract. Wait to cool then pour over the cheesecake and enjoy! Cherry & Bourbon BBQ Sauce: A cherry and bourbon infused BBQ sauce will elevate any meat, especially on the grill! This delicious sauce can be used to baste ribs, chicken and pork. Cherry Almond Cinnamon Rolls: Did you ever think a cinnamon roll could get any better? Make the rolls to your desired recipe and add pitted cherries and shaved almonds for an incredible upgrade to your favorite childhood breakfast treat. Cherry Peach Sangria: Prepare the sangria using your favorite recipe then simply add sliced peaches and pitted cherries for a refreshing twist on a classic summer cocktail.
Cherry Recipes to Enjoy this Summer SeasonWith a small window of time to enjoy cherries seasonally make sure you head down to your local produce market as soon as cherry season rolls into New Jersey. Buying fresh and local produce ensures you’re enjoying the boldest flavors at peak availability. For more seasonal recipe inspirations, we’ve put together Fall Apple Recipes, Winter Pear Recipes, Summer Blueberry Recipes and much more! Fiorentino’s Farm Market is open seasonally providing the freshest fruits, vegetables and produce, as well as snacks, plants & flowers, baked goods and more.