by Laura Poland & Erin Weber (OSU Intern)
Time for fresh fruits and vegetables! Whether you live in the city, suburbs, or rural areas, farmers’ markets supply those fresh delectables straight from the farm. Farmer’s markets make healthy, locally grown foods easily accessible! Farmer’s markets are a great opportunity to meet the farmer who grew the fruits and vegetables. We often love the idea of getting all of these fresh ingredients, but the question is how do we pick the right ones and better yet, what do we do with them?
One of the main things shoppers need to know before going to a farmer’s market is the produce seasons. It is important to know what produce grows in your area and when. Click here for Ohio’s seasonal produce guide. When planning when to go to the farmer’s market remember if you want the best produce, come early, and if you want the best deals, come late!
Now that you are home with your bags of fresh produce, and feeling dazed and confused about what you are going to do with it, let’s take a minute and plan some healthy meals. There are many websites with fun and delicious recipes to try or you can add some color to a dish of your own! Try this United States Department of Agriculture website for recipes specific to farmer’s market products. Many farmers’ love to share their own personal recipes, all you have to do is ask.
The opportunity to try new things is one of the many fun parts of going to a farmer’s market. Don’t be shy about trying something new! If you walk past a booth and see something you’ve never seen before, take a chance.
Another great aspect of shopping at farmer’s markets is that you are purchasing the freshest of the fresh! Spending time on flavoring your dishes is unnecessary. Let those natural flavors shine through! It will save time and money on extra ingredients.
Not only is fresh produce better for your health, but it also supports local farmers and makes it possible for more farmers’ markets in the future! Find a local farmer’s market here. Enjoy the fruits and vegetables of the season!