- Jess Hartjes
Summer in Nova Scotia brings about a whole crop of incredible edibles. They’re here, then gone, faster than you can say “product of Mexico,” so indulge in the local fresh fruits and vegetables at markets and grocery stores.
Your backyard is full of it, or if you’re not packing your neighbour might be. Enjoy it all summer by pulling away the outer shoots and leaves by the base to make room for new growth. If flowers pop up from the top, cut them off to keep the plant going, and you can eat the flowers too. Obviously good for pastries, jams or pickles.
This variety of grape grows well in places with colder winters. You’ve probably had wine from around here using this grape, (what makes some Tidal Bay wines have that cotton candy note) but you can eat them as well. Healthier than cotton candy, but not dissimilar—they are super-sweet. They stand out in the produce aisle because they aren’t really white or red, more like dusty rose. Buy them, put them in the freezer and you’ve got edible ice cubes for sangria.
Yeah, we have access to strawberries all year, but those ones are often white in the middle, so it doesn’t count. It really counts when they are so small, ripe and juicy that they nearly fall apart in your fingers and stain them. Remember eating them in a bowl, with cream and sugar? Revisit that.
The season is short, at the end of the summer, but if you can find local peaches in town, or you make it to a farm stand, they will blow your mind. There are few places outside the city where you can pick them.
Spitting cherry pits as far as you can on a sunny day is happy-making. Also, cherries have really high amount of melatonin in them, so they chill you out. They grow throughout central NS. Cherry pie and chill?
Summer carrots, with the greens still attached and maybe some dirt hanging on the ends, are a sweet and tender delicacy, especially if you get to pull them up yourself. The carrots we eat all winter, which are larger and have better storability, are not as lovely. The greens on summer carrots are also edible, and great for making pesto, or chopping like herbs.
These grow all over the province, and are a favourite among chefs. Their peachy colour and light, fruity taste make them versatile with summer meals, but we’d suggest you let the professionals identify them. Buy them from local foragers or markets.
Blueberry farms are plentiful here, and they are usually ready late July through August. They are a huge export for our province, and the star of pancakes. We prefer low bush (small berry) to high bush (large berry), but any bush is good bush. Bring on the crisp.
You can find bushes all around the city, even in parks, like a delicious weed. Early August is usually when you see these, and sometimes they’ll pop up for an encore in late-September. A jam making party is in order for enjoying all year long, as they spoil fast when fresh.
I need floss just thinking about corn on the cob, but what’s a summer without it? Boiled or on the grill, it’s a sweet side for any barbecue, especially if you’ve got some butter, grated parmesan and lemon to garnish it with. Look for it roadside, with the honour system method of payment for those childhood feels.