Some of us look forward to it all week long. Some do a week’s worth of shopping, and others just like to take in the sights. Whatever your inclination, it’s safe to say there’s no better way to revel in the change of seasons — or spend a perfect lunch hour — than at the farmers’ market.
Now that spring is upon us, the markets are going to get a lot more interesting. Starting with asparagus and moving into tomatoes and corn, get ready for vibrant colors and fresh flavors.
It’s time to start thinking about your next trip. First, check out the Local Harvest website to find a farmers’ market near you. Local Harvest is a leader in the “locavore” movement, encouraging people to shop for and eat food that’s grown close by for better quality and taste. Just click the button next to “Farmers’ Markets” and type in your zip code to find a selection of markets in your area, along with locations, dates and information about what produce they offer.
Next, visit the website for CUESA, or the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture. The nonprofit organization, which operates San Francisco’s Ferry Building Farmers’ Market, provides Seasonality Charts for Fruits and Vegetables. Take a look at the charts before you go to find out which foods are at their peak, or you can even print out a PDF to take along with you.
Sure, it’s exciting for people who love food to plan for their next trip to the market. But here’s another tip: Be flexible! If you see an unfamiliar ingredient, take the opportunity to ask the farmer about it. Chances are they’ll have all the information you need, along with some suggestions for how to prepare it.
Who knows? It could be the beginning of your new favorite recipe.