How to Use Coffee Grounds in your GardenDelicious when brewed with water over ice or served hot, the grounds left behind will inevitably end up in the trash. But what if there was a more useful way to dispose of your used coffee grounds? Turns out, if you’re a gardener (novice or experienced) there are many ways you can put coffee grounds to good use! Coffee grounds are a great source of organic matter that not only helps your garden grow but can ward off harmful pests and much more! Fiorentino’s Farm Market in Hammonton, NJ provides 6 useful ways you can repurpose and reuse coffee grounds in your home garden.
6 Useful Ways to Repurpose Coffee Grounds in your GardenFertilizer: Add the grounds directly to the soil as a slow-releasing fertilizer. Brewed coffee grounds have a very low acidity level, so you don’t have to worry about it altering the soil’s pH level. If you’re worried about clumping, make a ground coffee “tea” for a liquid fertilizer. Simply add 2 cups of used coffee grounds to a 5-gallon bucket with water. Let the mixture seep overnight, pour into a bottle and spray it directly onto the soil, leaves and stems. Feed the Worms: Whether you have a worm bin or you rely on the earthworms in your soil, they love coffee grounds! Using the grounds will make your garden more attractive to these essential insects. Keep Pest Bugs Away: Use the coffee grounds to create a barrier against slugs and snails. Since the grounds are abrasive, the barricade can protect your slug-prone plants. Mix with Existing Mulch: Mulch helps to reduce weed growth and retain moisture in the soil. Adding coffee grounds can help to further lock in soil’s moisture and create a barrier to prevent weeds. Be sure not to create a thick blanket, which can create an unhealthy water-resistant barrier. Compost Companion: Grounds are a nitrogen-rich green material in the same category of food scraps and grass clippings. Repels Animals: Cats are actually repelled by coffee! Scatter the grounds in your garden to prevent them from using it as their personal litter box. As a local farmers market, Fiorentino’s Farm Market is dedicating to promoting eco-friendly ways to reuse and recycle scraps and food including Christmas Trees and Halloween Pumpkins. For more ways to lessen your impact on the earth, learn easy ways to reduce food waste in your home or fresh herb storage & preservation guide.
Tips to Reuse & Recycle Fresh Christmas TreeThe most wonderful time of the year has come and gone; the ornaments are neatly packed away, the gift wrapping has been thrown out and we begin the countdown to warm weather. If you opted for a real Christmas tree you may be wondering if there are any sustainable ways to discard it. While curbside pickup is the most traditional, there are many other ways to recycle a Christmas tree and give back to the environment. Please note: It is also best to let the tree dry out for a few months before attempting several of our Christmas tree recycling suggestions below.
7 Sustainable Ways to Recycle your Christmas TreeOutdoor Firewood: Evergreen Christmas trees should only be burned outside, because they contain a high amount of sap. The sap is highly flammable and burns very hot & fast, which poses a great danger when used indoors. Feed the Goats: If you’re a local resident in the Philadelphia area, you can donate your tree to Philly Goat Project, which is an initiative to help fund a goat farm in Germantown. Not only are you helping a great cause, but your supplying delicious food that goats love! Curbside Pickup: This is the most traditional way you can recycle your Christmas tree, but it usually occurs within a very small window of time – check local city or town for dates. Typically, the trees will be put through a chipped and turned into mulch for local parks. Give Back to Nature: If you have a large backyard or a wooded area close by, simply set the tree there for local wildlife to enjoy! It will provide shelter throughout the window for birds, squirrels and other critters. Ash Your Garden: After you’ve burned your Christmas tree you can use the nutrient-rich ashes in your garden to help your plants and flowers thrive come spring! Create Cool Gifts: Turn your Christmas tree into air fresheners or cool coasters! If your needles are still green you can store them in paper bags or sachets to freshen your home year-round. Someone who’s a bit of a handyman & owns a chainsaw can dry out their tree and cut the trunk into one-inch wood coasters. Donate: If you missed your local community’s curbside pickup program, which is usually only offered during the 2 weeks after Christmas Day, you can donate your tree through a local program. You’ll need to do a little bit of research to find a program close to your home, but this option typically runs until the end of January.
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.
Sweet & Delicious Fresh Blueberry RecipesBlueberry season in New Jersey is very short lived and must be enjoyed to the absolute fullest during peak season late June through late July. From eating plain to whipping up some homemade blueberry muffins, jams and countless other delectable foods, there are so many delicious fresh blueberry recipes to enjoy. Head to your local farmer’s market to pick up a crate of fresh blueberries today, the summer will be over before you know it! To make the season last a little bit longer, learn how to preserve your favorite summer produce.
6 Unique Fresh Blueberry Recipes to Cook this SummerBlueberry Butter: Upgrade your classic pancake recipe by slathering them with blueberry butter! Simply mash together a stick of softened butter, sugar and blueberries. You’ll want most of the blueberries to keep their shape, but mashed enough to get the juices into to butter. Trust us, you’ll never look at blueberry pancakes the same way again once you’ve tried this version. Classic Blueberry Jam: Rich in taste & color and chock-full of whole blueberries, this classic recipe can be spread on toast, biscuits, cakes and so much more! Lemon & Blueberry Cheesecake: The combination of the sweet blueberries with the tangy lemon cheesecake is one of our absolute favorites! The the recipe up a notch by adding blueberries inside the filling and as a decadent topping. Blueberry Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Take your classic grilled cheese sandwich to the next level with this delicious Balsamic Vinegar & Blueberry Grilled Cheese recipe. To make this fresh blueberry recipe you’ll simply make a quick mash & spread over a piece of hearty bread, add sharp white cheddar cheese, top with spinach, add second piece of bread, toast for a few minutes on each side and enjoy! Blueberry & Dijon Dressing: A unique and highly complementary drizzle over grilled chicken and/or pork. Over medium heat combine fresh blueberries, blueberry preserves and Dijon mustard and bring to a boil, stirring until thick. Blueberry Lemonade: This delicious and refreshing summer drink is super easy to make and keep in a pitcher in the fridge. Simply crush fresh blueberries into a puree then strain using a fine mesh sleeve over a pitcher of pre-made lemonade (store bought or make your own).
Flavorful Ways to Eat in Season BlueberriesThe most important thing to remember when preparing any of these fresh blueberry recipes is to ensure you are using the finest produce from a local NJ produce market. Fiorentino’s Farm Market in Hammonton, NJ provides the freshest, in season fruits and vegetables, as well as an assortment of baked goods, plants & flowers, snacks and much more. For more seasonal recipe inspirations, check out Fall Apple Recipes or Summer Peach Recipes.
Pear Recipes & Ideas to Make all Winter SeasonPlentiful, delicious and exceptionally nutritional, the pear is extremely versatile and can be used in many breakfast, lunch, dinner & dessert recipes! Since December is recognized as National Pear Month, Fiorentino’s Farm Market is honoring this diverse fruit by providing 6 easy & delicious pear recipes you can cook throughout the winter season. From decadent desserts to savory dinner inspirations, there are endless ways you can enjoy the pear without having to be an expert chef. Head down to your local farmers market to pick up a fresh, in season basket of pears and get inspired to work wonders in the kitchen!
6 Sweet & Savory Pear RecipesPear Crisp: A classic fall apple recipe gets a creative upgrade for the winter holidays. Toss the pears in a little orange juice then sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Top with ingredients for the crumble: flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and butter. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes and serve warm with a scoop of ice cream. This is one of the pear recipes on this list we guarantee you’ll be baking over and over. Pear Salsa: Combine chopped pears with a red onion, mint, lime juice and a jalapeno pepper for a unique twist on the classic tomato salsa. Serve this with tortillas chips or as a topping on grilled pork chops. Pouched Pears: This elegant dessert pear recipe is sure to impress the guests at your next holiday party! This easy recipe can be cooked ahead of time by simply emerging the fruits in a boiling pot of water, honey and sugar. Let that simmer for up to 30 minutes, transfer into a covered container & keep in the fridge overnight. Serve on its own, drizzle with chocolate or pair with ice cream. Pear Coleslaw: Add thinly sliced pears to a classic coleslaw recipe for an elevated taste that pairs perfectly with grilled chicken, ribs, a hamburger and so much more! Green Smoothie: If you’re tired of the same old banana & peanut butter smoothie, try our pear rendition for a sweet, but still healthy smoothie. A few creative smoothie pear recipes include:
- Pears, kale, banana, ginger & cinnamon
- Red beets, pears, lemon juice & honey
- Spinach, banana and pear