Potatoes are versatile, economical, low in calories, and nutritious. The basic types of potatoes are long and round whites, yellow, russets, and round reds. In Ohio, potatoes are grown and harvested from mid-July to mid-October and in storage year-round.
Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Tomatoes are cultivated and used as a vegetable. Botanically, they are a fruit, being fleshy and containing many seeds. Regardless of how you classify them, they remain an Ohio favorite because of their versatility and flavor.
Kohlrabi, rutabagas, and turnips are all members of the mustard family. Another name for kohlrabi is cabbage turnip. The flavor of its bulb-like stem is similar to a turnip. The rutabaga is a root much like the turnip but is yellow in color and a bit sweeter. Turnips are commonly white and are easily identified by their long thin taproot. While the leaves of these vegetables are safe to eat, turnip greens are the most frequently consumed.
Peppers are a vegetable used in a variety of dishes as seasoning, garnish, main dish, and relish. They can even be served raw with a vegetable dip. Peppers are native to tropical America and were grown by Native Americans in North and South America over 2,000 years ago. Small hot peppers were discovered by Columbus in the West Indies and introduced into Europe where they became popular before gaining acceptance in the United States.
Beets are available year-round and are grown in most parts of the nation. Red beets are traditionally the most popular, but there are other types such as golden and white. All have about the same flavor and quality. Beet season in Ohio is June to mid-October.
Beans are native to Central and South America. There are many varieties of beans—some green, others waxy. Shapes differ from round to flat to oval. The tender, stringless variety we know today was developed within the last 65 years. Beans are available from July through September.
One of the highlights of summer is enjoying the bounty of luscious Ohio berries. July is the peak month for blackberries and raspberries. Blueberries are in season from mid-July through mid-September.
For information on berry varieties in Ohio, contact your county educator in agriculture and natural resources at Ohio State University Extension, or a master gardener volunteer.
Asparagus has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. It is a member of the lily family, which also includes onions, garlic, and leeks. While asparagus typically is known for its bright green coloring, it may also be white or purple. White asparagus is grown in the dark and has the same flavor as green asparagus. Purple asparagus tends to have a fruity flavor. Asparagus is in season from April through June.
Summer and fall are perfect times to try the many varieties of Ohio apples. Ohio is one of the top 10 states in apple production in the United States. It produces around 50 different varieties, including Ohio originals. Each of the Ohio apple varieties possesses its own appearance, flavor, and texture characteristics. For best results, select the apple variety according to its intended use.
The Midwest has seen an increase in photovoltaic (PV) solar energy production over the past several years. Nowhere is this more evident than in Ohio. Traditional ground cover options for utility-scale solar projects includes stone, gravel, bare earth, and various types of turfgrass vegetation. However, as the buildout of utility-scale solar projects increases, many are exploring the feasibility of dual land-use strategies that incorporate agricultural and conservation practices with solar production.