It's Farmer's Market season. And the pickings are not just good, they are great. It's my favorite, and the most glorious way to shop for food. Buying fresh, locally grown produce, and selecting from what is in season. I am a firm believer that this is what our bodies crave and how they were meant to be nourished; eating what is available at the moment. Don't just take my word for it. Here are a few links about how to eat seasonally and the benefits.
I could go off on a rant here about one of the possible 'why's' so many people are having food issues. The list is long but I think a contributing factor might be eating out of season, and eating the same food over and over again because we like it so much, and it's available... even when it really shouldn't be. In the good ole days, people ate what farmer's grew, harvested and sold in that season. Period, the end. They didn't have Fed Ex flying food all over the country or world, for that matter. It's almost like our bodies yearn for the exact foods particular to that time of the year. Like strawberries in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. But now with super fast transportation, you can have strawberries in the winter and pumpkin in the summer. It's bat shit crazy, I tell ya.
I try to eat as seasonally as possible. It's the reason that I don't really have a desire for salads in the winter. My body pines for warm foods, so I create salads that fit the bill by adding winter items to them. A good example is my Salads: Hot & Cold. And it's also why every summer I wait, like a child anticipating Santa's arrival, for our farmer's market to open its stalls. I jump out of bed on Saturday, drink my java and grab my straw basket to head into town. I never have a plan. Just $$$ in my pocket, joy in my heart and big, child like enthusiasm. That's all you really need.
I love everything about a Farmer's Market. I love seeing all the people milling around, some willing to chat over what to make with this or should they buy that. I love the artisans that come to sell their foods, their handcrafted wares and field flowers. I love the variety, and the natural look of the food. Oddly shaped beauties made with nature's hand and stirred with love. Not uniform, genetically duplicated food that looks as if it were pushed out of a mold.
I love the intimacy of a market, where the producers/owners are beaming with pride to tell you about their products. It's a community, with mutual respect.
I love it all so much that no matter where we are traveling, I find the farmer's market and make a bee line.
Whether in S.F area, or Aspen, Miami or Florence, Italy, Union Square NYC or my little town, venturing out to mingle among the masses of produce is how I get my jollies.
And what's not to love. I have purposefully posted so many photos to show the absolute allure of this art form. To tempt you. To lure you in and make you want to find the nearest market. Row after row. Pile after pile. Each item perking up fresher than the next.
Another huge plus is that you can discover new and interesting foods that don't usually appear at an ordinary supermarket. This is where the fun really begins, in the "what is that? and how can I use it?"
It's Farmer's Market season y'all. Grab a bag, satchel, basket or whatever brings you joy. Put on sunglasses, grab a hat and mingle with both the food and your fellow shoppers. It's a visual feast in every regard.
There are goodies of all kinds to indulge and experience. Snag a baked item, hold onto your coffee and weave your way through. Get up and get out there.
I like to ask the farmer for recommendations, or how it was grown, and why it is special. Alright, if you don't feel like going that far, just breathe in the glory of buying what you need for the immediate days, then get excited to return the following week. It's a simple pleasure. Leisurely wander around with a curious set of senses, picking up produce, smelling it and thoroughly reveling in how fortunate we are to have such abundance. Enjoy the moment. As I do this time of year.
Here are some links to help you find a farmer's market near you.
Fill your basket, then once home start figuring out all the possibilities. If you need help, here are just a few recipes I made with my finds over the years.
Happy feeling, smelling, tasting and picking.