Farmer’s Market Produce Tips

Cheryl Peirce with Thanksgiving Point has a few tips to consider.


Good quality slicing tomatoes will be firm, smooth-skinned and at least pink in color. Tomatoes with a green blush will ripen at room temperature. Do not refrigerate tomatoes. To retain flavor and texture, store tomatoes at room temperature. Once ripe, use within 3 days. To grill: Cherry and Roma tomatoes can be brushed with olive oil, placed in a grill basket and roasted on the grill, then salted and peppered for a delicious side dish.


Choose fairly large, firm to slightly soft peaches with cream or yellow background. Extremely ripe peaches will have a sweet peachy smell. Avoid small, hard or soft fruit, or if the skin is wrinkled at the stem. Peaches that have green background were picked while immature and will not ripen well. Peaches used in baked desserts should still be firm or slightly soft.


Good quality eggplant should be firm and dark colored with smooth and shiny skin and relatively lightweight. They can be small to quite large. Japanese eggplant is smaller and thinner. Large eggplant can be sliced, lightly salted and set on paper towels to drain before cooking to release excess moisture.


Good quality corn has full, evenly formed and filled ears. The husks will be fresh-looking and bright green. The silk ends of the corn should be free of decay and worm damage. Kernels should be bright, shiny and juicy when poked. Avoid corn with dark colored slime on the tassel. To roast corn on the barbeque – soak in cold water with husks on. Remove silk from the middle and inside layer of husk. Wrap back up and place on medium grill, turning every 2 minutes for 8 to 10 minutes.


Should be firm, smooth skinned and fairly even shaped. Most varieties of peppers turn from green to red as they ripen. As peppers ripen their sugar content increases. Roasted peppers – grill to char the skin and then place in a tightly closed paper bag or baggie. When cool, the skin can be peeled off and the remaining pepper can be used in recipes calling for roasted peppers.


Look for large webbing or netting on the skin, yellow or orange coloring, and it should be slightly soft on the stem end (but firm elsewhere). For perfect flavor, keep your cantaloupe at room temperature until it is ripe. You can also hear the seeds rattle inside a juicy melon when it is shaken.

Look for even, dark green color. Cucumbers should be firm and relatively thin, but can be long or short. Avoid cucumbers that are soft, yellow, or wrinkled on the ends. Large cucumbers may be full of large seeds and are usually bitter. English cucumbers tend to be mild in flavor and have less seeds.

Green Beans

Look for beans that are crisp and well-shaped. The tenderest beans will be thin, but can be either long or short.


Should be firm and heavy for its size, have a yellow underside, and have a deep-pitched tone when slapped with an open palm. Avoid melons with a high-pitched tone (under-ripe) or a thudding sound (over-ripe) when using the open palm technique. This technique doesn’t work well for small melons because they tend to have a high-pitched sound.

Farmer’s Market comes to Thanksgiving Point Water Tower every Friday from 3-7 p.m. through the first Friday in October. For more information and vendors list, visit or call (801) 407-8157.

About Thanksgiving Point

Created in 1996 by Alan and Karen Ashton, Thanksgiving Point is the cultural gathering place for the community, promoting the renewal of mind and spirit in a beautiful and family-friendly setting. Thanksgiving Point is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing guests with a one-of-a-kind, hands-on opportunity for discovery and an entertaining educational experience in a variety of arts and sciences. Thanksgiving Point is located just off I-15 at the Point of the Mountain. For more information call (801) 768-2300 or visit

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