Category Archives: Produce Market

The Taste of Summer

Summer Produce

We are so fortunate to live in South Carolina where we have an abundance of fresh produce at our fingertips all season long.  If you are like us, we like to eat and we love to cook with summer produce!  Our Produce Market is bursting with an array of fresh produce supplied by our local farmers.

Simple is always better when using fresh fruits and vegetables, let the quality of the season’s finest shine through.  Simple seasonings and light dressings are all that is ever needed to enhance the flavor of fresh produce.

Summer doesn’t officially end until the middle of September so we still have plenty of time to enjoy what is in season now.

We love them all, but here are a few of our favorites:


By far blueberries are the most popular of all the summer fruit. The tiny pop-in-your-mouth fruit is a favorite of children.  Filled with antioxidants they are one treat that is a healthy option to sugar-filled treats. Store your berries in a single layer, and do not wash until you are ready to use them.

In our house, our kids always loved them frozen as an afternoon snack during our hot South Carolina summers.


The best batch of sweet corn is one that is purchased as soon as it’s picked.  As corn ages the sugars turn to starch which lessens its sweetness. To pick the best ears look for deep brown silk tips where the silk is still pliable and not entirely dried up. Open the tip end and make sure the kernels are plump and milky when pinched.

One of our favorite ways to enjoy sweet corn is grilled. Peel back the corn husks and remove the silk. Spread ears with one tablespoon butter, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and then close the husks back up.  Wrap each ear of corn in foil and place on the grill and cook for about 30 minutes or until the corn is tender.


If you have a fig tree in your yard you know the figs are ripe when you hear the tree buzz from the bees that are feeding on it! But if you don’t, our Produce Market has freshly picked figs for you…without the bees! Figs spoil quickly, so use them up fast.  Their delicate fragrant taste is the perfect complement to desserts, baked goods and a great addition to savory foods like meat and cheese.

We love adding fresh figs to salads and sliced on crackers with ricotta cheese and honey.


Row after row of peach orchards in the Midlands supply us with the freshest peaches found in the country. When buying peaches look for fruit that is firm to touch without brown spots or wrinkling.  To tell if they are ripe don’t be afraid to smell them.  Sun ripened peaches will smell as good as you expect them to taste.  To keep them freshest longest don’t wash them until you are ready to eat them.

The best way to eat a fresh peach is outside where you can let the sweet juice drip down your arm.


We are big advocates for the sweet taste of Heirloom tomatoes…no other tomato compares to the flavor these funny looking tomatoes give. The unusual shape and size should not deter you from trying them. Tomatoes that have been vine ripened have the best flavor and are the best way to describe summer!

There’s no other way to eat a fresh tomato than with a little sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yum!


Summer is the perfect time to enjoy summer squash!  Zucchini is the most popular, but the crookneck, yellow and pattypans are just as delicious. When at its freshest you can roast, grill, steam, fry or bake them.  When buying look for small squash that is bright green or yellow and free of spots and bruises. Stay away from the larger squash that will be bitter and lack flavor.

We have a sweet tooth here at Wingard’s, so our favorite way to enjoy zucchini is when it’s made into zucchini bread, warm out of the oven, smothered with butter!

Stop by the Produce Market and see the array of local produce brought in daily by our preferred local farmers!

Here at Wingard’s Market we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your every day gardening questions.  Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe, Fresh Produce Market, and take a stroll under century-old pecan trees through our Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Top Fall Produce Picks

The days are getting cooler and a variety of new crisp fruits and vegetables are showing up at the Product Market.

Fall Produce Picks
We are a couple weeks into fall and pumpkins and winter squash can be seen everywhere! The smell of fresh pumpkin and pecan pies, along with crisp apples are filling our harvest baskets.

Here at Wingard’s our baker is in the house for your all holiday baking needs! During the holiday’s, we take orders for pumpkin and pecan pies. We need a lead time of 4 business days to fill an order.
Call Wingard’s at (803) 359-9091 to place you holiday pie order!

Our produce choices are the perfect excuse to get you cooking on a brisk fall evening. Potatoes and pecans, along with the classic apples and squash, are just a few of the many Fall favorite produce picks you can use in your cooler weather recipes.

Fall produce is at its peak flavor and highest value right now. Try incorporating one or all of these top picks into your menu this month.

Everyone has heard the phrase “An apple a day helps keep the doctor away,” but there is nothing better than biting into a crisp fall apple. The sweet, crunchy taste is at its best in the fall. With such a large variety, you can choose from sweet to tart. And if you don’t know what would work best for your dish, ask our experts at the market for their recommendations.

When choosing apples pick ones that are firm and free of blemishes or bruises. Apples emit ethylene, which speeds up ripening, so always store them in a cool place away from bananas or citrus. If kept in a cool dark place apples can last up to 6 months.

This favorite purple root vegetable may be available all year-round, but they are best in the fall. You can find many varieties that produce white and even a golden yellow roots, but the reddish-purple color is our favorite.
Look for firm, smooth bulbs with crisp green tops. For the best flavor don’t wash the beets until you are ready to use them. And don’t throw the beet greens away use them in a salad to capture all their healthy benefits.

Brussels Sprouts
For such a tiny vegetable, Brussels sprouts are full of nutrients. Just one cup provides more vitamin C and vitamin K than most other vegetables. They have a mild somewhat bitter taste and are best roasted.
Look for small firm heads that are bright green and have no blemishes. Avoid those that are light and airy. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Even though onions can be found all year long, most onions are harvest in late summer and into early fall. A staple in most dishes onion adds the finishing touch to most savory dishes. Onions have a juicy flesh, covered with a papery skin and come in a broad range of sizes, shapes, and flavors.
When buying onions, be sure to look for firm onions that are free of cuts and blemishes. Onions can last for several weeks if stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.

Pears are the most overlooked sweet fruit of fall. Like their cousin the apple, pears can work great in any dish apples would typically be used. They come in a variety of flavors from tart to sweet. Pears are a healthy source of soluble fiber, which helps your body maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
To slow the ripening process store them in the refrigerator. When stored in a similar condition to apples, pears will last for a few months.

A member of the squash family, pumpkins are rich in history and healthy benefits. Unlike summer squash, winter squash is finely textured and slightly sweet. Because of its thick skin, pumpkin can be stored for months, although you probably won’t wait that long to eat it. Its nutty flavor goes best with other fall flavorings like cinnamon and ginger.

A low-calorie food, pumpkins are full of dietary fiber and is brimming with vitamin A are rich in beta-carotene. It’s enough to make you think twice about turning down that second piece of pumpkin pie.

Sweet Potatoes
These nutrient-rich potatoes are awesome in both sweet and savory dishes. These naturally sweet root vegetables are equally delicious in desserts. These orange beauties have the best flavor during fall. Like squash, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene.

Choose uniform sized sweet potatoes that feel heavy in your hand and buy them shortly before you plan to use them. Store whole potatoes in a cool, dark place and toss any that have started to sprout tubers.

Winter Squash
From acorn to butternut nothing screams fall like squash. They are a fall favorite for roasting, mashing and pureeing. Winter squash are one of the best plant-based sources of Omega-3s and beta carotene, making them the perfect veggie to consume during cold and flu season.

Choose squash that remains firm when pressed, contains an entire stem, and feels heavy for its size. Winter squash can be stored in a cool, dark place for several weeks if kept in its tough exterior. Kept refrigerated for a few days if cut or raw.

White potatoes
Who does not love a big bowl of buttery mashed potatoes? They’re inexpensive, filling, and they can last all winter long with the proper storage—now is a great time to stock up on them.

Here at Wingard’s Market we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your every day gardening questions.  Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees.  It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Know Where Your Food Comes From

Eat Local – Buy Local

Gone are the days when knowing where your food came from meant stepping out your back door to the family garden! Today’s world is filled with pre-packaged, freshly sealed and ready-made foods, so it is hard to know where our food actually comes from.

Buy Local - Eat Local

Here at Wingard’s we are passionate about eating and buying local! Working with over 20 area farmers, we are making it easier for you to know where your food comes from. The local food movement is being driven by people who care about the food they feed their families. We are stocking our Farm Fresh Produce Market weekly with locally grown fruits and vegetables to meet this need.

Eating local and eating seasonally fresh foods is making a big comeback in the Midlands of South Carolina. The old practice of canning seasonal fruits and vegetables is an economical way to preserve food at its peak freshness to be enjoyed all year long.

By supporting an “Eat Local” mentality, you are making the choice to care about where your food comes from.

Here are a few reasons why eating locally grown food is important:

  1. Farmers rely on people to help them bridge the gap between the farm and the dinner table. It is so important that children learn from an early age what real food is. Teaching them to understand how vegetables are grown, where cheese comes from and what farm fresh eggs are will help them have a healthy relationship with food.
  2. Pre-packaged, sugar-laden foods can easily be replaced with real food made from scratch using fresh fruits and vegetables, providing your family healthier meals.
  3. Eating local means your food doesn’t have to travel as far to make it to your plate, lessening the carbon emissions that impact the environment. It also means money stays in the local economy supporting local farmers and suppliers. Keep in mind local food often is more affordable, fresher and has more nutritional value than food that has traveled long distances to make it to your supermarket.

Are you ready to jump on board the local food movement? Here are a few ways:

  • Buy in-season fruits and vegetables.
  • Learn how to preserve food to enjoy all year long.
  • Shop at local farmers markets.
  • Choose restaurants that support local produce and meats.
  • Start a garden of your own.
  • If your local ordinances allow it, raise a few chickens for their eggs.

Nothing makes a meal more special than knowing where each ingredient comes from. A homemade meal made with locally grown fruits and vegetables has a huge story to tell. Take the time to appreciate what you’re eating and support the Eat Local – Buy Local Movement.


Here at Wingard’s Market we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions.  Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees.  It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091