Book Excerpt

Fresh from the Farmers’ Market

Year-Round Recipes for the Pick of the Crop

By
March 16, 2009

The advantages of shopping at a farmers’ market are clear to anyone who visits one regularly. Other shoppers’ motivations may differ, but I can tell you why I prefer to spend my food dollars at a farmers’ market.

In my experience, you can’t find fresher food unless you grow it yourself. Many growers harvest for a farmers’ market the day before, even hours before. In contrast, produce intended for the supermarket often goes to a packing shed first, then it’s trucked to a broker or wholesaler, then to the supermarket’s warehouse before it ever makes it to the retail produce department. One government study estimates that the nation’s fruits and vegetables travel an average of 1,300 miles before reaching the consumer.

If you care about quality and nutrition, freshness matters. In the hours and days after harvest, produce undergoes change, almost all undesirable. Immediately, moisture begins to evaporate. Cucumbers lose their crisp crunch; basil wilts; peppers and eggplants start to shrivel. Decay sets in, especially on delicate banded produce like lettuce and spinach. And natural sugars in some vegetables begin converting to starch, which is why peas, beets, corn, and carrots never taste sweeter than the day they’re picked.

turnips
Fresh young turnips at a farmers’ market.

Nutrients also dissipate quickly. Broccoli loses 34 percent of its vitamin C in just two days. Asparagus making the refrigerated trek from California to New York arrives with only about one-third of its initial vitamin C.

Growers who sell to supermarkets can’t do anything about the nutrients, but some do try to combat moisture loss: they wax the produce. Waxes on cucumbers, peppers, rutabagas, melons, citrus, apples, and other fruits and vegetables keep moisture in and give the produce a shiny appearance.

According to Bryan Jay Bashin, writing in the magazine Harrowsmith, the wax is sometimes mixed with fungicides and sprouting inhibitors before it’s applied. The only ways to get rid of it are to scrub your vegetables with detergent or to peel them, which eliminates more nutrients.

A better solution is to buy from farmers’ markets, where growers sell their produce too fast to have to bother with waxes.

What’s more, the farmers’ market offers variety unmatched by the supermarket. In season, I may find 20 different tomato varieties among the growers at a farmers’ market, or a dozen different apples, or a half-dozen different cucumbers. Supermarkets value uniformity; farmers’ markets encourage diversity.

“The farmers’ market has been a tremendous vehicle for new-product introduction,” confirms Kathleen Barsotti of Capay Fruits & Vegetables in Capay, California. Growers like Barsotti are much more willing to experiment with less-familiar produce items like fava beans or with untried tomato varieties because they can count on the farmers’ market as an outlet.

“I know I can sell it at the farmers’ market if it tastes good,” says Barsotti. “At the wholesale market, if people don’t recognize it, they don’t care how it tastes because they know they can’t sell it.”

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In many cases, the experimental seeds that growers are planting are from century-old varieties known as heirlooms. Until farmers’ markets gave growers an excuse to grow them, many of these heirlooms were in danger of extinction because they didn’t meet the needs of commercial growers. Perhaps they didn’t grow uniformly, or didn’t ship well, or didn’t yield enough — all concerns of farmers who sell their produce to supermarkets.

But these antique varieties often have flavor superior to that of the “improved” varieties that replaced them. At farmers’ markets, where flavor matters, vendors are reviving these heirlooms, such as Brandywine tomatoes and New England Soldier beans. By purchasing them, I know I am helping preserve a more diverse gene pool — an essential foundation of a healthy, sustainable agriculture system.

Another advantage of farmers’-market shopping is getting to taste before you buy. Growers are proud of their produce and pleased to have you try their peaches or pears. In fact, they depend on sampling to help sell unfamiliar apple varieties or plums that taste better than they look. As I sample growers’ tomatoes or cucumbers, I’m also gathering ideas for what to try in my own garden. And I find it a real benefit to be able to taste the peaches or apricots before I invest in large quantities for preserves.

I also relish the opportunity to talk directly with growers at the farmers’ market, an exchange that never occurs at the supermarket. A grower can point you to the right potatoes for potato salad or the best apples for applesauce. Many farmers are a rich source of recipes and preparation tips. And if you ask, some will happily give you, or sell at a deep discount, the blemished fruit they can’t sell at full price — fruit that’s perfectly fine for jam, for example.

If you are concerned about growing practices and the use of chemical sprays, you can get the answer from the source. The information I get from chatting with growers also makes me a better vegetable gardener.

For city dwellers like myself, farmers’ markets bring yet more benefits. By buying direct from the farms that trade at my local markets, I am supporting the outlying greenbelt that makes life in my urban region more pleasurable. Without the farmers’ market revival, many of these small farms would now be condominiums or shopping malls. Having the farms nearby not only enriches my dinner table, but also enormously enhances restaurant dining in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Just as important, farmers’-market shopping has become a social activity that connects people with their community. Like the town square or village green of earlier times, the farmers’ market provides a place to congregate. One friend tells me that in her small town, everyone meets at the coffee shops near the farmers’ market on Sunday morning to have breakfast before or after shopping. I can count on running into friends when I visit the waterfront market in San Francisco or the Jack London Square market in Oakland, and I often see couples, friends, or families with young children happily strolling the market together. A coordinator for Manhattan's Greenmarkets once boasted to me that his markets produced more smiles per square foot than any retail space in New York City.

In contrast, supermarket shopping is almost always a solitary experience, or an unpleasant experience shared by a parent and a cranky child.

Budget-conscious buyers can save money at a farmers’ market (although I don’t always save money; around beautiful produce, I have poor self-control). Because growers who sell at a farmers’ market don’t have to package or label their produce, or meet industry size and appearance standards, they can pass some of the savings on to consumers. And at some farmers’ markets, they do.

In my experience, however, farmers at markets in upper-income communities tend to ask what they think their well-heeled audience will pay. To save money, it may pay to compare markets in your region. But even if your purchases are no less expensive than at a supermarket, their quality will almost certainly be superior.

At many northern California markets, farmers’-market shoppers realize the best savings on flowers and organic produce. Other items may be no less expensive than at a supermarket, but the quality will generally be superior.

In addition, many farmers’ markets offer more and better organic or unsprayed produce than I can find at conventional markets, and at better prices. Supermarkets rarely have a good selection of organic produce because their shoppers, seeking rock-bottom prices and picture-perfect fruits and vegetables, don’t demand it. For many organic farmers, the farmers’ market provides a warmer reception.

For shoppers, farmers’ markets restore a sense of the seasons, a sense that supermarkets have all but erased. Thanks to imports and controlled storage, you can get just about anything just about anytime at a conventional grocery store. But this year-round “abundance” robs us of the seasonal excitement that comes with the first local strawberries or summer corn.

“One of the things that’s frustrating is that people are not aware of the seasons,” says Debbie Hurley, a California tree-fruit grower. “They don’t know when it is the right time to be buying certain fruit. There’s no awareness of whether it’s local or imported. And that’s the neat thing about farmers’-market customers. They’re a lot more aware of those things and willing to devote time to get a superior product.”

I’ve come to believe that anticipation is the secret ingredient in many dishes. When we can have anything we want whenever we want it, nothing seems special. You may only be able to buy corn for a few weeks at your local farmers’ market, but it will be tastier for having waited for it.

Looking for your local market(s)? Try our market finder tool. You can also add Culinate’s new farmers' market finder widget to your webpage or blog.

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Comments
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1. by Ellie on Mar 16, 2009 at 12:48 PM PDT

I’m looking forward to tomatoes! Loads and loads of delicious tomatoes. <3

2. by tamarer on Mar 16, 2009 at 12:51 PM PDT

I am waiting for the arrival of eggplants and summer squash.

Thank you for the giveaway.

Tamar.

3. by ellethebelle on Mar 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM PDT

I cannot wait for tomatoes and zuccini!

4. by Christina Eng on Mar 16, 2009 at 1:26 PM PDT

The best thing about spring: rhubarb.

5. by Alysia on Mar 16, 2009 at 2:24 PM PDT

I can’t wait for Rhubarb and Asparagus and Green Beans and oh so many more delightful things that I start to crave around this time of year.
Thanks for the giveaway :)

6. by karahelene on Mar 16, 2009 at 4:35 PM PDT

I can’t wait for local strawberries.

7. by sj.breeze on Mar 16, 2009 at 4:42 PM PDT

Rhubarb! Along with fresh tiny lettuces, peas, asparagus, chicken, lamb, well, everything, I guess. :)

8. by Corvallis Farmers' Market - Saturday on Mar 16, 2009 at 4:43 PM PDT

The outdoor farmers’ markets I run open April 18. But there’s an Indoor Winter market in Corvallis,OR run by the vendors. This past Saturday I came as a customer (okay there was some shop talk) and sampled turnip raab cooked with some alliums and olive oil. Another vendor had tat soi raab. Both were wonderful, but the tat soi raab is so sweet that I ate it raw while prepping veggies for my stir fry.

9. by CSeychew on Mar 16, 2009 at 4:50 PM PDT

I’m so looking forward to the brief and brilliant ramp season!

10. by Laura on Mar 16, 2009 at 5:06 PM PDT

The first berries of spring. With our veggie garden in full swing by then, they’ll be what we’re really craving.

11. by JeanE23 on Mar 16, 2009 at 5:43 PM PDT

I never thought I’d say this: Lettuce! Before last summer, I never noticed that it could be so tasty. Now, I can’t wait to go back to my favorite vendors.

12. by April Muniz on Mar 16, 2009 at 6:47 PM PDT

Ahh, the first tastes of the spring garden: crisp kale, bright red radishes, tender aspargus, buttercrunch lettuce, spicy arugula, sweet spinach, and flavorul spring onions---bring ‘em on!

13. by Lissa on Mar 16, 2009 at 8:33 PM PDT

So many things I’m waiting for! Strawberries, blueberries, peaches, corn, onions, squash, potatoes - I could go on and on. And not just produce - I can’t wait to buy herb plants, and flowers, as well as fresh honey. I’m fortunate enough to work just a couple of miles away from the farmers market, so I can easily stop by any day on my way home.

14. by Dianne Rodway on Mar 16, 2009 at 8:40 PM PDT

1. eggs, cause I don’t think I can afford building a coop this year. 2. Lettuce and carrots 3. Tomatoes. 4. Basil 5. cheese 6. the fresh caught fish 7. visiting with the people I know.

15. by lauren luttrell on Mar 16, 2009 at 9:37 PM PDT

I am looking forward to cheese and berries.

16. by cafemama on Mar 16, 2009 at 10:47 PM PDT

I hadn’t thought to get excited for rhubarb until I read all these comments, but now: rhubarb! and asparagus, of course, and green garlic, and raab of every kind. I plan to eat at least a pound of collard raab each week.

17. by Kathy Randolph on Mar 17, 2009 at 4:04 AM PDT

In Florida my favorites at farmer’s markets start with Strawberries beginning in Feb through the end of March when it gets too hot for them here. Fresh heirloom tomatos, peppers both sweet and otherwise, onions,sweet corn, shelled blackeyed peas, homemade breads & eggs. Pecans in the fall the sound of the “sheller” working means they will be incredibly fresh. Best of all to me are the fresh greens, collard & kale, especially beets. Yum.

18. by Kathryn H on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:56 AM PDT

I can’t wait for local asparagus! ...and salad greens with real flavor and crispness...cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, new potatoes, corn, sugar snap peas. My list could go on and on--maybe I should just note the things I am not waiting for!

Oh, and catching up with all the farmers that I miss chatting with during the winter!

19. by Heather Slater on Mar 17, 2009 at 7:08 AM PDT

Definately the berries; blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, marion berries -- all of them!

20. by David Silva on Mar 17, 2009 at 7:10 AM PDT

I most look forward to sampling apples. I know it might not be the most adventurous, but there are SO MANY varieties! (And at farmers markets especially, the apples are the size of grapefruits. ENORMOUS!) I always hunt for one I haven’t had before, run home to chop it up, and dip the slices in peanut butter. Mmm mmm.

21. by Rebecca Albrich on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:19 AM PDT

I’d say it would have to be the first fresh local strawberries. The feta made at the little coastal goat farm is wonderful too.

22. by ruth_117 on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:12 AM PDT

Dollar bouquets!! In our market there is one seller who has these little button bouquets for $1 and they always make me smile. I always save a loonie for one.

Loonie: canadian dollar coin with a picture of a common loon on one side.

23. by Florence Barnhart on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:52 AM PDT

Last spring I discovered fresh fava beans. In the still-cool days of spring, I like to mix them with bacon and onion to serve on pasta.

24. by Joanne on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:52 AM PDT

I grow my own veggies, so what I’m looking forward to is the raw honey that one lady sells at the market every year. I’m on my last jar - hope I can make it last ‘til the market opens again!

25. by dgilbert on Mar 17, 2009 at 1:50 PM PDT

I’m very excited for fresh strawberries and blackberries, as well as some local grass-fed beef for some special stir frys. I’m on a just-graduated-college tight budget, and I’m planning on eating locally as much as possible.

26. by rosewx12 on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:22 PM PDT

Specifically baby boc choy. We eat it raw dipped in homemade dill, smoked paprika dressing. Yum!

Generally I’m looking forward to a safe source of fruits/vegis for my daughter who’s allergic to all those corn based waxes in the grocery store.

27. by anonymous on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:32 PM PDT

I’m just waiting to see my friends the farmers! I’m in Michigan so our market really doesn’t get going until mid April, and not a lot of produce until weeks later. But the farmers are so wonderful and such a diverse group of people.

28. by baltimoregon on Mar 18, 2009 at 12:21 AM PDT

Fresh asparagus and rhubarb are what I most look forward too as the market reopens in April!

29. by leucanthemum on Mar 18, 2009 at 6:49 AM PDT

Definitely asparagus...I love grilling asparagus and look forward to it all year! Also because that means there is so much more to come!

30. by kaleforsale@blogspot.com on Mar 18, 2009 at 11:54 AM PDT

I’m looking forward to the return of one of our local growers who has a special touch with everything they grow. Their fruit and vegetables have a vibrancy that is unmatched.

31. by anonymous on Mar 18, 2009 at 1:29 PM PDT

Our brand new Market will open April 4 in downtown Clayton, NC. I am looking forward to fresh juicy berries, nutty crunchy asparagus, warm ripe cantalope and sweet summer corn. :)

32. by Lisamary Wichowski on Mar 18, 2009 at 1:38 PM PDT

Asparagus, Hood strawberries, the first favas. Although my favorite market is biweekly in the winter and I have a great CSA I admit to getting a bit tired of beets and kale!

33. by Patricia Eddy on Mar 18, 2009 at 2:58 PM PDT

I am probably most anticipating asparagus. Second on the list are berries and third... most definitely are peppers.

34. by amy on Mar 18, 2009 at 3:09 PM PDT

There’s a vendor at our market with the most amazing heirloom melons. Cutting into one releases an amazing aroma, and they taste like candy! Our market also has local musicians that play in the central “square” and I love to sit with a fresh crepe and watch the children dance.

35. by dgreenwood on Mar 18, 2009 at 4:26 PM PDT

I am longing for green garlic, something that never appears in supermarkets at all in NYC. For about 3 weeks in the spring I buy as many as I can and make wonderful soups, risottos, even slice them into salads. I am always grateful that some farmers are willing to sacrifice some of their mature harvest in favor of the young spring greens. They are a spring tonic that sets me up for everything tht follows.

36. by girlsgoneveggie on Mar 18, 2009 at 5:10 PM PDT

I am looking forward to sharing day with my daughter. It is like a scavenger hunt for the most surprising and exciting produce we can find. We end up laughing so hard while we try to fit that last delicacy into our all ready, overfilled bags. As they say, priceless.

37. by Laura Parisi on Mar 18, 2009 at 8:53 PM PDT

Food wax gives me the willies! I don’t care if it’s FDA approved, so was Fen-phen and that turned out to be a big mistake.

What I am looking forward to at the farmer’s market: BACON!!! I’m not sure who the vendor is, but you can get it on Saturday’s at the PSU farmer’s market in Portland. Best. Bacon. Ever. I’ve been dreaming about it since the market closed in December...

38. by Ruben on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:16 PM PDT

I can’t wait for cherries, apricots, peaches, and nectarines!!

39. by Steve on Mar 19, 2009 at 5:09 AM PDT

Fresh produce is great, but too many farmer’s markets have forfeited to prepared foods and other novelty items. One recent market I visited had but a few tables selling whole, unprepared vegetables. Everyone else was selling spelt pizza or ugly cupcakes. Where’s the farmers? It was a basically a bake sale.

40. by simona on Mar 19, 2009 at 9:26 AM PDT

I entered a comment, but don’t see it listed, so I’ll try again. I am looking forward to the new crop of garlic, eggplant and tomatoes, then strawberries and basil (which I can’t grow in my little garden).

41. by KAB on Mar 19, 2009 at 10:32 AM PDT

Spring at the farmers’ market, to me, means curly and simple pea shoots, sauteed in olive oil and salt and served as a bed under grilled salmon. And luminescent favas, tender and simply tossed in (again) olive oil and salt with a sprinkling of mint, or whizzed in the processor with the same ingredients and spread on thinly sliced baguette. Can’t wait!

42. by Teri on Mar 19, 2009 at 1:18 PM PDT

Tomatoes and basil!

43. by shandon on Mar 19, 2009 at 2:57 PM PDT

Fiddlehead ferns!

44. by Caroline Ford on Mar 19, 2009 at 3:27 PM PDT

Berries berries berries and then some more...berries. Any kind! I want to play with artichokes, hopefully some less common varieties.
And I can’t wait for the energy and excitement that seems inherent at farmers markets.

45. by Pink Devorah on Mar 19, 2009 at 3:33 PM PDT

I cannot wait for locally grown organic beets. Mmmm. Plus, patty pan squash.

46. by JudithK on Mar 19, 2009 at 4:12 PM PDT

It will be a few more weeks, but I’m counting the days until I find:
artichokes
fava beans
ramps
tender, soft lettuces
cardoons will still be around for another few weeks
radishes
zucchini blossoms
the last of the Moro Tarocco blood oranges
scallions
and fresh peas. We once threatened my grandmother with death and destruction when she tried to cook our garden peas. My kingdom for fresh peas.

They won’t be in the markets, but lime blossom season will be upon us and the fragrance is everywhere.

47. by Marisa on Mar 19, 2009 at 7:36 PM PDT

I’m looking forward to fruit, especially the cherries. I recently moved from MN to WA, and the variety and quality of cherries here is pretty much unspeakably wonderful for me. I’ll have to keep waiting for those, yet, since they won’t be in season for a few more months. ‘Til then, I will be happy to have green garlic from the market.

48. by Emily on Mar 19, 2009 at 7:56 PM PDT

this is the first spring in two years that i’ve been in the states. i was in france, then west africa for a year. in those two years, i got used to shopping for fruits and vegs at markets, more so in africa (and most of those fruits and veg were organic, if not ‘just fallen from the tree’). this year, i’m in DC and studying food and agricultural policy. i’m pretty broke and living on student loans, but i feel like i can’t keep shopping at the Giant, even if it is “cheaper.” because i’m learning that there are more costs. so i’m investigating my options here in the city, whether i want to do farmers’ markets or a CSA share...i’m most looking forward to making a giant, fresh salad with all local ingredients!

49. by Jen Richmond on Mar 19, 2009 at 8:35 PM PDT

We have a number of really good farmers markets in the Hilo area; each of them a little bit different. The bay front market has the most variety, with fresh abalone, a larger selection of fruit and veggies, and more days of operation. The Maku’u farmers market only happens on Sundays; in addition to produce you can listen to local music, buy handicrafts, plants, second-hand items, and great food- green papaya salad, adobo, crepes, huli huli chicken. Every tiny town here has some kind of open-air produce market, run by an affable auntie or uncle. Veggie lovers rejoice! A trip to Hilo area is a good wallow in luscious tropical produce.

50. by meganjoy on Mar 20, 2009 at 12:47 AM PDT

an armful of fresh new vegetables... old favorites and new curiosities... but always with a little carton of local organic strawberries- something about that intense sweet aroma mixing with the smell of spring onion and snap peas and asparagus.

51. by metico70 on Mar 20, 2009 at 8:21 AM PDT

I look forward to the sense of extravagant abundance! All the shapes and colors and smells seen, felt, and experienced at each stall. A true feast for the senses! Not to mention the out of this world taste of a perfect summer tomato.

52. by foodgeek on Mar 20, 2009 at 8:28 AM PDT

Stone fruit. Peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums, so ripe you can smell them from 20 feet away... and, of course, all the near-irresistable little starts, making me wonder how I can fit one more pot on the windowsill.

53. by dusksunset on Mar 20, 2009 at 9:58 AM PDT

There’s something about the first watermelon of the season. To me, that means summer is really here. Fortunately, where I live in FL, the market is open yearround, but since it is a grower only market (the only true kind), watermelon only appears for about six weeks.

54. by Poonam Shrivastava on Mar 20, 2009 at 12:43 PM PDT

Spring is here! I am really looking forward to Fava beans, and Green garlic !
And just going to the farmers market and enjoying the increase in activity.

55. by Jon Clark on Mar 20, 2009 at 1:33 PM PDT

I’m craving the 1) herbs, the only one available has been parsley, but I saw chives for the first time today! and 2)fruit, I’ve had nothing but apples for the whole winter and I’m ready for the famous peaches, apricots, and plums of the Great Plain!

56. by Sara on Mar 20, 2009 at 2:14 PM PDT

Oh, I cannot wait for asparagus!!! It’s so hard, seeing the mexican asparagus in the grocery store, then a few weeks ago the californian... it’s creeping up, it’ll be here soon, but oh it is hard to wait!

I’m also looking forward to later spring and summer, with strawberries and tomatoes :) And appreciating what my market has now - brilliant potatoes, the last of the squash and apples, and my first jerusalem artichoke!

57. by magpie26 on Mar 20, 2009 at 5:38 PM PDT

I’m looking forward to fresh berries, tomatoes, lettuce, and Georgia peaches! Also, there is a couple who comes to the farmers market every other week with Amish made cheddar cheese that is the bomb-diggity! It never last long in my apartment.

Oh and who doesn’t love to do some people watching at the farmers market! Parents with kids on leashes, people trying their hardest to speak Spanish to the Mexican farm hands, watching people pick out a chicken or rooster to take home. Nothing beats the smells and sounds of a farmers market!

58. by Karen Stillerman on Mar 20, 2009 at 6:59 PM PDT

I’m most looking forward to ramps and fava beans this spring. Oh, and of course, seeing all my favorite farmers again!

59. by alohastylee on Mar 21, 2009 at 12:42 AM PDT

I’m looking forward to all the delicious strawberries, tomatoes, oh everything! Plus it’ll be my first farmer’s market in a new state... discovery time!

60. by Loulou on Mar 21, 2009 at 8:25 AM PDT

The local white and green asparagus should be in the markets in the next couple of weeks. After they arrive, French strawberries will show up.
Can’t wait!

61. by tnrsmama on Mar 21, 2009 at 9:02 PM PDT

I look forward, all winter, to asparagus. That is the signal of spring for me! I also can’t wait for fresh peas and fava beans and the very best of all, in my book, summer peaches! Yum!

62. by anonymous on Mar 22, 2009 at 7:00 AM PDT

In Madison, Wisconsin, we’re fortunate to have a Farmers’ Market year-round. There’s not much produce to choose from in the winter, though. As much as I love potatoes, I can hardly wait for the opening of the outdoor market on April 18th. It’s still a long time until peas, my favorite, arrive.

63. by Jes McA on Mar 22, 2009 at 7:08 AM PDT

I can’t wait to go and buy broccoli, tomatoes, and anything else I can get my hands on! We’re going today for the first time!

64. by Eugenia on Mar 22, 2009 at 9:23 AM PDT

New garlic, spring onions, and green garlic, yum.

65. by Erica on Mar 22, 2009 at 2:37 PM PDT

I have to vote for MORELS and home grown SHIITAKES as my favorite spring farmers’ market items. How can you beat that??

66. by rubylove on Mar 22, 2009 at 3:25 PM PDT

I cannot wait for the fresh fruits - especially the berries. And I LOVE the cherries we get around here too. C’mon spring!

67. by Thomas Janes on Mar 22, 2009 at 6:50 PM PDT

Tomatoes and asparagus.

68. by Joyce B. on Mar 22, 2009 at 8:52 PM PDT

I’m looking forward to the event of it! With the weather breaking, we’ll be getting into the mood to head out with the kids and let them in on the decisions. We’ll get the fruit they like, some awesome tomatoes and, the best part, some green beans that they will beg to munch on on the way home! That doesn’t happen at the grocery!

69. by Rachael Warrington on Mar 23, 2009 at 7:24 AM PDT

I am so looking forward to our local farmers market. Being in the mid west we are blest with a couple close to our home. Also when I go to Tulsa to visit family, we make a trip to the Cherry Street Farmers Market. It is so yummy!

70. by MLisa Kelley on Mar 23, 2009 at 8:57 AM PDT

I am so lucky to live in the epi-center of the organic, no GMOs food movement...Berkeley CA!! We have some of the best farmers markets around and I love taking my 5 year old to meet and greet with her friends the farmers.
We are looking forward to pungent green garlic, Prather ranch grass fed meats, baby asparagus, really good Full Belly Farms CSA boxes of tender greens, and of course this summer TOMATOES and anything grown by Frog Hollow!

71. by anonymous on Mar 23, 2009 at 10:56 AM PDT

I went to the first farmers’ market in Portland this weekend! It was mostly cheeses, breads, baked goods, etc., but I did come away with some fingerling potatoes, a turnip, a shallot and a leek. I can’t wait for more things to pop up in the coming months.

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