First of the Season Sweet Corn, Peaches & Green Beans!

These hot and humid temperatures are starting to pay it forward with an early homegrown season. In addition to our tree-ripened peaches, we now have homegrown sweet corn, tomatoes, green beans, yellow squash, beets, green peppers and zucchini!

Eckert's Tree-Ripened Peaches
All of Eckert's peaches are tree-ripened, meaning they are left on the tree as long as possible, in order to maximize its sugar content. The peaches are hand-picked at their sweetest, but still firm enough to avoid bruising and blemishes.

Tree-ripened peaches need additional maturing to increase their softness and juiciness. Place peaches on the counter at room temperature for 2-3 days. Do not refrigerate immature peaches, as this inhibits ripening and causes the fruit to become dry, mealy and flavorless. Once the peaches are fully matured, they can be refrigerated for 5-7 days.

There are two types of peaches: clingstones and freestones. Clingstone peaches are the earliest ripening peaches, and are named for the flesh that will not pull away from the pit. Even though clingstones cannot be pitted, they are just as sweet and flavorful as the later, freestone varieties. To remove clingstone peaches from the pit, simply slice or quarter them, making cuts with a paring knife toward the center and around the pit.

Homegrown Sweet Corn
The first of our sweet corn arrived fresh from a field in Smithton, Illinois. This sweet corn is bi-color, meaning the kernels are a combination of yellow and white. Kernel color is a characteristic of its variety, but not an indicator of sweetness.

When selecting sweet corn, look for ears with husks that are tightly folded and green. The silk on the corn should be turning brown and dry on the end. The sugar in sweet corn will begin to breakdown into starch if left at room temperature so refrigerate corn until ready to prepare it. Leave the husk on to retain moisture. If the ears are already husked, place them in a perforated plastic bag.