Spring is just around the corner and that means longer days, warmer weather, and the opening of farmers market season!
I LOVE farmers markets! Seriously, I can’t drive by one without stopping. Thankfully, my husband is willing to indulge me because he knows whatever treasures I find will be turned into his dinner. And yes, there are treasures to be found – raw honey, pastured eggs with beautiful orange-colored yolks, cut flowers, artisan cheeses, kombucha, and the list goes on.
In the greater Seattle area, we are lucky to have a couple of farmers markets that operate year-round. If you do not have a market that is open all year the wait is almost over. Seasonal farmers markets will be opening soon and that means easy access to a wider variety of locally grown produce making it easier to eat what is in season. Here’s an article discussing 5 benefits of eating seasonal produce – there’s also a list included so you know which fruits and veggies are in season.
Farmers markets also provide an opportunity to buy meat directly from the farmer. I recommend purchasing the best quality meat your food budget will allow because when it comes to protein and fat quality is key. Talk with the farmers and ask them about their farming methods. They will appreciate your interest! This is your opportunity to learn how the meat you eat is raised so don’t be shy about asking questions. Ask if the chicken and pork were pasture-raised and if the beef was grass-fed and finished.
Need help finding a farmers market close to you? Visit https://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/ or https://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/national-guide-to-finding-local-food/
If going to the farmers market isn’t your jam, then you might consider signing up for a community supported agriculture (“CSA”) subscription. It is basically a subscription-type service for locally grown produce. Check out https://www.localharvest.org/csa/ to learn more and find a CSA near you.
Make a plan to include a visit to your local farmers market as part of your regular grocery shopping routine. It’s a great opportunity to support your community and nourish yourself and your family with seasonal foods. See you at the market!