486788747The plum packs a lot of essential nutrients into a small package!

Plums come in a variety of colors and sizes, and all types are a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, folate and many of the B vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium. Plums are low in calories and are a good source of fiber. This small, sweet fruit is a perfectly refreshing snack in the summer, or it can be added to salads and salsas, or in a variety of desserts or savory dishes. With all the local varieties available, finding a plum to please your palate should be easy.

Here are some of the plum varieties grown here in Vermont:

Stanley: This fruit is an excellent quality plum for home use and processing. Stanley is a large variety with dark blue skin. The flesh is greenish-yellow, fine-grained, and juicy. This plum grows well in Eastern regions and is self-fertile, meaning no cross-pollination is necessary.

Castleton: The fruit is blue, slightly ovate, and similar in appearance to the Stanley, ripening about three weeks ahead of it. The Castleton has a nice plummy flavor and is good for eating just as it is, or for tossing in a recipe.

Early Golden: This fruit is sweet and small to medium in size. Grown on hardy, vigorous and productive trees, the fruit is yellow with an attractive red blush. When soft, it is extremely juicy and sweet, although the skin may be bitter. A freestone variety available.

Long John: This freestone fruit is dark blue and very large, growing in a typical elongated shape with a bulge in the middle. The flesh is orange, firm, and pleasantly tart.

Methley: This is an early plum with fine quality and appearance. Purple fruit with red, juicy flesh and a distinctive taste makes Methley a popular choice.

Shiro: Sweet and juicy yellow plum. Fruits are round, clingstone, and medium to large in size. The trees are productive.

Reach for a plum for your next snack, or when you want to sweeten a dish, top it with a plum salsa or chutney. Once the summer has turned to fall, you can look for the goodness of plums in prunes – their dried cousins. The long list of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in plums support digestive, cardiovascular, immune, and bone health. Eat for your health and enjoy the best plums Vermont has to offer. Look for these varieties at your local farm stand!

Plum Chili Salsa

  • 3cupsdiced plums (1 pound, about 4 large)
  • 1/3cupminced red onion
  • 1/2cupfinely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4cupfinely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1tspminced seeded jalapeno pepper
  • 1Tbspfresh lime juice
  • 2tspsugar, to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill for one hour prior to serving.
  2. Serve with chips as an appetizer or snack, or with grilled chicken or fish.
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Kathleen Van Wyck is student in the University of Vermont Master of Science in Dietetics program. She is completing a research project with Nutrition Services at the University of Vermont Medical Center.


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