If you're lucky, family trips to the farmers market are a year-round affair. No season, however, is as satisfying as the start of Spring. With spinach, strawberries, asparagus, and avocados taking center stage, it's tempting to fill bag after bag with the farm-fresh fruits and veggies. Here, 10 kid-friendly recipes that take advantage of the season's best produce, and the whole family can enjoy together.
Ditch the ratty freebie tote you're using now, and add a dash of style to farmers market jaunts with one of our favorite farmers-market-friendly tote bag picks. Keep reading for 10 options that range from classically elegant (jute and leather) to cheeky (animal print).
Create curb appeal and freshen up your entrance with affordable additions and swaps that greet in style. Your front door being the first thing guests see, simple updates like a new mailbox or lush wreath — will make first impressions count! Without much effort or a hefty remodeling budget you can easily sharpen up your stoop (under $100) just in time for the holidays!
Is there anything that quite beats brilliantly colored berries or long beans at a nearby Summer stand? We think not, which is why we challenged you to take at least one stroll through the farmers market and share your finds via Instagram. From squash blossoms to heirlooms to carrots for days, here are some of the season's best.
Keep us in the loop by uploading your photos to Instagram and including the hashtag #savorysight in your caption; who knows, you might be featured next go-around! And make sure to follow YumSugar on Instagram (username: heyyumsugar) for delicious inspiration. If you don't use Instagram, then don't worry: you can always upload your Summer food photos to our Savory Sights community group.
Source: Instagram user poolovesboo
With Summer heat and sunshine comes jaw-droppingly beautiful seasonal produce. To best take advantage of Summer's bounty, we take at least one stroll through the farmers market each week. Last weekend we fell for a rainbow of brightly-colored heirloom tomatoes, bursting at the seams with the juices of Summer. Admittedly, we're a bit nosy; we'd love to see what's in your basket!
If you care to join in on the fun, upload your photos to Instagram and include the hashtag #savorysight in your caption; we'll combine our favorite shots and share them with you in a few weeks. And make sure to follow YumSugar on Instagram (username heyyumsugar) for delicious inspiration. If you don't use Instagram, then don't worry! You can always upload your Summer food photos to our Savory Sights community group.
If you love farmers market produce, but have always found it too pricey, you may be shopping the wrong way. There are plenty of ways to save if you know how. For the insider's take, I talked to Phil Rhodes, 41, who runs the Country Rhodes Family Farm in Visalia, CA. He's a grower of tomatoes, grapes, figs, and a wide variety of tree fruits. Here are his tips on how to save:
- Buy in bulk. If you buy in bulk, you have more leeway to negotiate. Keep that in mind if you find yourself needing to purchase more produce if you have many mouths to feed.
- Ask for overripe produce. Farmers will occasionally give you deals on overripe produce or items they need to get rid of. Depending on what kind of market it is, the overripe fruit might not be displayed. But ask for it, because sometimes the farmer has it hidden away.
- Visit the lower-priced markets. There are certain farmers markets that are lower-priced than the others. Rhodes says you can find out which ones they are by "word of mouth." Ask people around you where the best place to shop is, or you can even ask your friendly farmer. "The shoppers that go to certain markets are looking for bargains, so farmers usually send produce that don't look as good to them," says Rhodes. "They’ll send nicer looking or fancier — heirloom variety produce — to a higher-end market. In some locations, the customers are more price-conscious, so the farmers will take stuff that’s riper or bruised but still tastes good and sell it there."
Shopping at a farmers market is fun, but it can also be a daunting task. Going into the day with too much preparation can be a bit of a drag, but having a few go-to moves once you arrive will put you in produce bliss.
- No steadfast lists: Showing up to a farmers market with a definitive list will not serve you in the end. There are certain things you may be sure of, but you never know for certain what will be available. Eat with your eyes — look for bright colors and unexpected produce you've never tasted! This is one of the parts of the farmers market experience that sets it apart from a traditional grocery store.
- Scope out the scene: You don't have to shop at the first booth you see. You may be craving some Summer berries, but someone farther back in the line may have a better deal or even more beautiful blues than the first ones you spot. Walking around will not only give you an idea of what each booth has to offer, but it will help you get your creative cooking juices flowing.
- Be realistic: It's easy to get excited about all the beautiful, bountiful produce around you, but just because it's sitting pretty doesn't mean you need to buy it. Think about how much time you can actually commit to cooking in the week to come.
Keep reading for two more strategies for farmers market success.
I know, it's really cold outside. But the shift in weather is no excuse to shift your diet away from local, sustainable, fresh food! You may not get to wear shorts and a tank, but making a trip to a farmers market is just as productive an excursion in the cooler months as it is in the hot Summer sun. Are you picking up what I'm putting down? Here are five reasons you shouldn't skip farmers markets in the Winter.
- A little green goes a long way. While the chilly weather and lack of sunshine is bound to affect your mood, you'll be feeling recharged after you head to a farmers market, in all of its colorful Winter splendor. As I've said to myself: a little green goes a long way amid all the gray.
- Try out new fruits and veggies. Even if the farmers market doesn't have what I'm looking for, it always proves to be a great experience: you're forced to think outside your typical box and pull for fruits and vegetables you might not have been exposed to before. If you've moved to a new city or are living in a different climate, getting to a farmers market is an awesome way to see what your new region has to offer your taste buds. Who knows? Maybe you'll find your new favorite nosh.
Keep reading for three more reasons why you shouldn't skip Winter markets.
Considering jumping on the ultrafresh food bandwagon? Joining a CSA might be the way to go. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great option for city-dwellers who want to connect with the source of their produce. Instead of picking and choosing veggies at a farmers market, you're essentially backing a local farm's budget and receiving what is seasonally ripe and available. It's an awesome way to support local farms and make sure they prosper in years to come. But before committing to a CSA in your hood, it's integral to know the facts and figure out what makes sense for you. To learn the right questions you should ask, read on.
If there's any time to prioritize hitting up the farmers market, it's during Spring. Blink and you might miss some of the season's most prized — and fleeting — produce, like fiddleheads, the unfurled sprouts of the plant known as the ostrich fern. Harvesting season for these wild greens, which are native to the northeastern United States, only lasts a few short weeks in May, so don't miss out! A few important things to know about cooking with them, when you read more.