A FARMERS MARKET SHOPPING GUIDE
We love the idea of a leisurely Saturday morning at the farmers market, soaking up the summer sun, and loading up on the local flavors. From unusual finds to field-ripened fruits, there’s always an abundance of fresh inspiration. Read on and discover a few table-tested tips on making the most of your next Farmers Market visit.
Green garlic, watermelon radishes, and purple cauliflower — you won’t find these colorful cooking companions at the corner grocery store. A trip to the farmers market can be eye-opening, from the wide variety of fresh veggies and delicious meats, to surprise encounters with passionate farmers, eager to share their secrets. If you spend enough time at each booth, you’ll discover the behind-the-scenes artistry of what makes these farm-to-table foods so special and delicious.
KNOW YOUR SEASONS
Food, much like fashion, is seasonal. Broccoli for example peaks in the fall and winter, while late summer brings out the best in sweet cantaloupes and ripe apples. Carrots on the other hand are crisp and delicious year round. Know your seasons and make a shopping list accordingly to guarantee the freshest selections, while occasionally going out on a limb to try something new. You might have a “where have you been all my life” moment with broccoli romanesco or an heirloom tomato.
A COLORFUL PLATE
We can’t think of anything more appetizing than sitting down to a pretty plate brimming with purple hues, ripe reds, lush greens and brilliant yellows. Rich colors tell you the food is ripe and ready to eat. Experts say to “count colors instead of calories” for good health and prosperity. When a plant has bold deep colors that means it’s packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants work with vitamins, minerals and fiber to fight cancer, prevent aging and improve immunity. Make color the most important part of your list when you’re browsing the locally sourced produce at your hometown farmers market.
There’s nothing like a Saturday morning sleep in, but if you’re up and out early you’ll avoid the crowds and get first dibs on fresh picks of the day. Bring your own shopping bag. They are earth friendly, sturdy and just plain fun! Also, don’t forget to take out some cash, as many vendors don’t accept plastic and you’ll save on fees for those who do. Lastly, think comfort in the warm summer sun. Dress in breathable pieces and lighter colors to keep cool, and bring along a sun hat for extra shade.