Everywhere I turn, there’s a local farmer’s market popping up on the weekends (and even some weekdays) in neighborhoods across the country. What a great place to meet and interact with community farmers, cheese makers and craftsmen of all kinds. You can find out the best way to grow that windowsill herb garden you’ve always wanted and your kids can sample just-picked fruit from an orchard nearby. Get to know the vendors and ask them questions; they are an immensely knowledgeable resource. If you haven’t taken the time to find your local farmer’s market, trust me – it’s a must!
In addition to amazing resources, farmer’s markets can provide insight into what produce is in season. Just because it’s available year-round at the grocery store doesn’t mean it’s always at its peak. Think apricots and asparagus in spring, persimmons and plums in the fall. Have a favorite produce you can’t live without? Find out more about it and its seasonality from the vendors.
As if I need to entice you further, here are a few other farmer’s market benefits:
Farmer’s Market Shopping Tips
Fruits are often, and should continue to be, a popular snack to reach for throughout the day. Oranges, apples, grapes, the best peaches, plums and pears will be found at your local farmer’s market. You will also encounter varieties of fruit you’ve never seen! Ask the vendor for a sample and a few suggestions of how you might serve it. Aim to get a variety of your favorites and mix them all together for a fruit salad – even try adding cottage cheese or yogurt for a simple good-for-you snack.
It’s easy to get caught up in the colorful fruits, but don’t forget your veggies! Radishes, green beans, asparagus, carrots and cucumbers make great snack foods that don’t need to be cooked – just chop them up and eat them plain, or dip them in a side of hummus. Add your own creative touches by combining vegetables and assorted greens to make a signature salad. And forget your normal bottled dressing! Try combining fresh-squeezed citrus juice (like orange, lemon or grapefruit) with extra virgin olive oil to make a refreshing, low calorie dressing.
Last, but not least – don’t forget your reusable bags!
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