Local farmers markets serve up treasures

Friendly woman tending an organic vegetable stall at a farmer

From farm to table.

It’s a popular phrase nowadays that makes anything it’s referring to sound better. You just know that honey straight from a nearby farm is going to be tasty. The same goes for any of the plentiful, in-season produce that’s brought right from the field to you at a farmers market.

Freshness is what makes farmers markets attractive. Most of the food you’ll find there has been picked at the peak of its freshness and flavor. If you like peaches from the grocery store, you’re going to love peaches from the farmers market.

Connect with nature

Shopping at a farmers market helps you reconnect with nature’s cycles. You’ll enjoy getting out your favorite corn recipes in the summer and pumpkin recipes in autumn. Plus, if you buy it from a certified organic farm, you also get the satisfaction of knowing what you and your family eat is free of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.

Get your family involved

Introduce little ones to the farmers market and you’ll have a better chance at warding off picky eaters. Surrounded by a festive atmosphere and vendors offering free tastes of things like gleaming golden raspberries or juicy purple pluots, your children are bound to bite into something that triggers a smile.

Here are some tips for getting the most from your trip to the farmers market:

First, find your local farmers market. Simply enter your zip code or state, and you’ll find the markets closest to you.

Go early. You may not need to be among the first arrivals for a weekday market, but weekend markets get busy fast. If you arrive too late, the best pickings may be gone.

Bring cash and reusable bags. Transactions will go easier if you have a pocket of small bills. Plus, you need sturdy bags to carry your items home.

Talk to the vendors. The sellers want to talk about their fruits, veggies, jellies and jams. Ask for buying and storing tips. They can often give you recipe ideas, too. Supporting the vendors – with your money and time – helps give these smaller farmers a better return for their produce.

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

 

 

 

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Lisa Finn