Here is the menu for our Saturday6/Troy-Bilt lunch at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio.

Lunch menu at Culinary Vegetable Institute

Wow! What a meal! The produce was fresh, fresh, fresh and even I, a non-veggie-loving individual, loved it. The beets had been stored since last November in their custom-built root cellar and had sweetened over the months. I am not a big fan of beets, but these were mighty tasty.

As I have learned on our family trips to Sicily, freshness is nearly everything when you are talking about food. Produce degrades rapidly (unless you are talking about root vegetables like beets, parsnips, etc) and the sooner it gets to the table, the better it will be. I think this is one, huge, reason we are seeing a resurgence in home vegetable gardens. The worst veg out of your own garden can still taste better than the best veg at the store — mainly because it is at the peak of its freshness.

Disclosure: This post is in conjunction with my paid partnership as one of the Saturday6 from Troy-Bilt. All thoughts are my own.