Farmers’ Markets: Take Your Pick for Freshness, Flavor

Female gardener selling organic crops and picking up a bountiful basket full of fresh produce

Bing cherries and jarred honey. Farm-fresh eggs, cheeses, and herb bread. Arugula, zucchini, and fresh flowers too . . .

From Seattle, Washington, to Portland, Maine, farmers’ markets have long been a community gathering place, marrying the fun of a family-friendly, open-air event with fresh, healthy, often-organic food choices that are both accessible and affordable. Along with feeling good about supporting local farmers who sell their own products directly to the public, shoppers can expect an abundance of colorful, quality fruits and veggies, from tried-and-true apples and strawberries to adventurous offerings like broccoli rabe, fiddlehead ferns, and yucca root (depending on the season). If you’re a “foodie,” you’ll be in farm-to-table heaven. If you’re simply looking for more affordable, healthy choices for your family’s meals, the farmers’ market can be one-stop shopping from dairy to whole grains. It’s also a wonderful way to expose children to new flavors and textures, plus get to know your local growers.

No matter where you may live, you can find both large and small farmers’ markets in your regional area, whether located in a downtown square, on the town green, or even inside, at a town hall. Visit www.localharvest.org to explore the more than 30,000 farms and farmers’ markets listed nationally, plus an array of mouth-watering, related recipes. Other sites include the National Farmers’ Market Directory at www.nfmd.org. Those participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can locate over 3,600 farmers’ markets who accept benefits, by visiting www.fns.usda.gov/ebt/snap-and-farmers-markets.

Visit your local farmers’ market this weekend, and fill your table with fresh flavor, good health, and new friends!

By Lisa Miceli Feliciano

Sources include www.fns.usda.gov.

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