Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

The height of summer at farmers markets can be dizzying for a shopper. So many colors, shapes, sizes, varieties, choices! The list literally ranges from A to Z: apples, beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, collards, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, flowers, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, okra, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, tomatillos, and zucchini.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by what and how much to buy, consider these tips from veteran tailgate shoppers (who can feel this way, too, but have developed methods to navigate the abundance).

  • Walk around the entire market first to get an overview of everything that’s available.

  • Look up recipes you like before going to market and purchase veggies based on the ingredients needed.

  • Consider how much longer something is going to be available. For example, if deciding between cabbage and cauliflower this week, choose cauliflower because there’s only a week or so more that it’s likely to be available.

  • Make a meal plan for the week prior to going to market. Write it down and take it with you. You can leave flexibility within the plan if you don’t know what is going to be at market. For example, plan for pasta with two veggies and figure out what veggies to use once you are at market. You can start with just one meal plan or consider more (perhaps with the same veggies in each, perhaps with different veggies in each).

  • For shoppers that want to put up seasonal items at peak season, ask farmers if they have items in bulk volumes for canning, pickling, or freezing. Bulk volumes are also great when you are feeding a crowd.

  • Read the market report and check market and farm social media pages before arriving at the market so you can anticipate what will be there.

Each week farmers have a wide array of fruits and vegetables. In addition to produce, you can always find a range of meats, cheeses, eggs, breads, baked goods, value-added items, fresh flowers, and other treats!
Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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