This is why I shop at farmers’ markets;
fresh, nutritious, delicious, and locally grown fruits and vegetables and
sound advice from people who really know good food.
When I go to a farmers’ market I know I might come across the best greens
or apples or peaches that I’ve ever had. What kind of advise do you think you would
give people who have never shopped at a farmers market before?
Talk to the farmer behind the table. Ask them any question and they will be glad
to answer. Sweet bell peppers are an excellent source
of vitamins A and C. These deeply colored fruits and vegetables
are a wonderful thing to incorporate into a healthy diet. To me that
makes food shopping here an adventure, and I’m not alone.
Here I can get meat and eggs and fruit and vegetables. I can speak directly to the farmer.
I can ask him or her questions about what they’re doing and why; and we have a relationship.
It gives us a greater connection with our environment, both the physical, natural environment
and our social economic environment. There’s something really incredible about
knowing where your food is being sourced. So much of it is the interpersonal connection.
It’s knowing who’s growing your food and seeing the love and the energy and the
attention that they’ve put into what you’re tasting.
Here the produce is seasonal and picked at the peak of freshness.
So you get to enjoy local fruits and vegetables when they’re at their very best.
I think everybody likes to shop at the markets because they can get a good value
at the farmers’ market and everything we have to offer is fresh.
What are some of your favorite things about buying seasonal fruits and vegetables?
Oh, the taste, it’s definitely the taste. You can taste the difference.
And a lot of guys will say, oh we just picked this last night, we were out picking
it and I’m like oh my god this came right from your farm!
It’s great to know that what you’re getting is fresh. You know it’s going to be really,
really good, and you know that you’re directly supporting farmers.
I think farmers’ markets are really fun, they’re for everyone.
Everybody can come and find something that they love and incorporate it into a new dish.
For example, these queen roses, these little plums are so cute and I’ve never seen these
before. We’ll have samples set up of melons and watermelons
and kids get to try them and they really want them.
Sometimes parents say, oh my child doesn’t like beans. You hand them a freshly picked
bean, and they like it
I like basil, mint, cilantro. Oh, the pears, they look great. They’re just
coming into season. So I’ll get a couple of those.
That’s what’s great about the farmers’ market as well, is it’s exciting to find what’s new
and in season and fresh.
I think that the best thing about eating seasonally is the anticipation.
I’m waiting for the winter squash. Because I love to make winter squash soup
and then eat it for breakfast. I just wait all year for those things, and then becomes
a part of our natural rhythm. As somebody who’s trying to become a better
cook and cook a lot more it’s great to get in the habit of cooking things that are in
season and that have traveled not very far. I think it’s definitely changed my eating
habits. In addition to the wonderful food, there are
lots of other advantages to patronizing farmers’ markets.
I like the personal service I get and the relationships I develop with the farmers and
vendors. I also like the idea of supporting the local
economy and local agriculture. The freshness and variety are beyond compare
at a farmers’ market, and the family farmers benefit
from receiving a bigger profit from these markets.
You can also use SNAP or WIC benefits to purchase foods at the farmers’ market.
What’s your favorite thing about coming the farmers’ markets with your daughter?
Oh, it’s with her because she does the shopping and basically it makes my life that much easier.
Did you get one? Those are really good. You’re right. Those are very sweet.
It’s fun to come out and experiment and definitely to talk to the farmer.
And that they always have great recommendations for what to do with the food.
They say we eat with our eyes, and there’s no better place to eat with your eyes
than at a farmers’ market. Not only can you find the fresh, locally grown
produce at farmers’ markets, but they’re fun.
It doesn’t matter how old or young you are or how much you know about food; there’s something
here for everyone. And with farmers’ markets
opening in many locations, it’s easier than ever to find one,
two, or more in your area. In some regions farmers’ markets are open year round,
in other regions they’re seasonal. Either way you’re bound to find an ever changing
selection of the freshest and most delicious items available.
And farmers’ markets aren’t the only way you
can find fresh local foods. You can look for roadside stands or join a community
supported agriculture, or CSA, group in your area.
A farmer’s market is a place you can really get excited about good food.
For more information about healthy eating and recipes and to find a farmers’ market
in your area, visit www.nutrition.gov