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Sample Your Local Farmers’ Market

Sample Your Local Farmers’ Market

As I wrote last year at this time, June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. Observance of this month is designed to increase healthy eating by encouraging people to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet each day. It is probably no coincidence that it is timed during the month that summer officially begins. As the weather warms up there are an increasing number of fresh fruit and vegetables to choose from each week.

As I have also written about several times, eating locally grown or homegrown produce is the best way to get the freshest fruit and veggies, and the greatest variety of them.

Nothing beats local farmersí markets for finding the greatest variety of locally grown food. And, if you live in an area where your market has been closed for the season, now is the time that it will come back.

One of the best things about shopping at a farmersí market is that most farms have samples so that you can taste what the farmer is the most proud of and what is at the height of freshness. Take advantage of this, and use it as an opportunity to try something you might have been reluctant to try before. It is also a good opportunity to eat, or add, a new or different fruit or vegetable each week.† The goal of eating better is to add as many different colors of fresh produce to your diet as you can, or as the USDA says, try to eat ďa colorful variety.Ē

Farmersí markets are also one of the easiest ways to eat seasonally. Eating seasonally not only gives you more freshness, flavor and packs the biggest nutritional punch, but saves you money as well.

Regardless of what you end up buying at the farmersí market, try to buy only enough to last for a few days so that it retains its freshness and nutrients, and so that you donít wind up wasting it by having to throw it out if it goes bad.

What to do with the bounty that you buy at the farmersí market? The easiest way to get more into your diet is to add fresh fruits and vegetables to the meals that you are already making. I have found that if I add fresh produce to the things I already eat, I donít ever feel like I am giving anything up and actually feel like I am getting something instead because of the additional flavor they add to things.

My favorite and easiest way to get more produce in my daily diet is to add fresh veggies or fruit to salads to increase its nutrient content. Broccoli, fresh spinach, sugar snap peas, beans, or corn all make great salad toppings. One of my favorite things to add to mixed greens is fresh fruit. Depending on the season I add mandarins, tangerines, apples, oranges, strawberries, peaches, pluots, and grapes. The sweetness of the fruit offsets the flavor of the vinaigrette and the greens.

If you arenít sure where to find local fresh produce, you can find a local farmers market at the USDA site or Local Harvest.

 

Related:
5 Easy Ways To Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Food
Save Money By Eating Seasonally

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Eating for Health, Food, Green, , ,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

33 comments

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3:59PM PDT on Aug 15, 2012

yum!

5:52PM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

Let's start supporting locals.

10:34PM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

i love shopping at the farmers' market but don't go as often now that we've bought a csa share. we get so much produce every week it's hard to use it up! but it's definitely making us eat way more veggies.

1:50PM PDT on Jun 9, 2012

I love the farmers markets I go to. They each offer different things.

9:57PM PDT on Jun 7, 2012

Farmer´s markets are great, thanks.

8:52AM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

I already try to add lots of fruits and vegetables to my diet, but the farmer's market near our house helps with that goal quite a bit, and it does let me try new things. Just a couple weeks ago, I tried turnip greens for the first time, and they were... different, but good.

8:09AM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

our local farmer's market started last week, now i'm looking forward to all the fresh produce for the next few months.

3:48AM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

We have "Farmers' Markets in Dublin,Irl. but it's only once a week ..but good idea,,,

7:27PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Oh,I can't wait for Friday's farmer's market. Strawberries! I missed it it last week.

5:19PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

I shop and sample my local farmer's market every Wed. and Sat. each week from June to October and on Sat. during the winter. Thanks for the article Judi.

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