Ready to enjoy Suffolk’s bounty

Published 8:25 pm Thursday, March 29, 2012

There’s nothing like a fresh-from-the-vine tomato when the weather is sweltering, and watermelons are so iconic they should be called summer-fruit. But as the temperature rises and spring gives way to summer, it can feel almost like food blasphemy to pick our favorite fruits and vegetables from among the hundreds of perfectly similar, carefully presented carbon copies to be found in the produce aisles of many grocery stores.

For many people, there’s a pang of guilt as they think about how much tastier those tomatoes seem when picked from a roadside cart, how much sweeter the melons seem when they’re hauled to the car through the dust of a temporary parking area near a produce stand. But buying from the air-conditioned comfort of a chain store is simpler, fits easily into our schedules and, for people in some parts of Suffolk, has been the only readily available option in years past.

This year, though, no matter where you live in Suffolk, there will be no excuse for not taking advantage of the seasonal bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Suffolk will host one brand new farmers’ market near Harbour View in North Suffolk and another under the new shelter behind the city’s tourism office, which is located in the old Nansemond County Courthouse at the corner of North Main Street and Constance Road. Both will feature the wide selection of locally raised fruits and vegetables that make the season so special around here. There will also be seafood for sale and other surprises along the way at both venues.

Summer is a great time to be a vegetarian in Virginia. And it’s a great time for the carnivores among us to remember that man should not live on meat alone. Suffolk’s farmers’ markets will shine a refreshing light on the bounty of fresh and local produce available to its residents.

Our mouths are already watering.