When the warm weather fades and the cool, crisp air of autumn arrives me may forget that the local farmer’s market is still going strong. As supporters of local food we need to remember that they still need our support and that fresh local food is still the best. So put down that baking pan, bundle up, and visit the market.
Every thursday afternoon we make the trek to see what the local participants are offering up at the Farmer’s market. It is a highlight of every week. We usually pick up some great seasonal items such as pumpkin pie, fresh squash, apples, and the last of the year’s sweet corn. This is something my children even enjoy doing; talking with the locals, getting sample apples, and helping me carry our finds to the car.
I also love Farmer’s markets for other reasons too. Farmers markets support a sustainable food system by offering regionally-grown produce. They also help small family farms (our neighbors) stay in business; the surrounding land is protected from development, and we get fresh food that does not travel far. Plus, many of the market participants offer organically grown produce!
Stock Up On Fall Favorites – There are plenty of crops that thrive in the cool weather and bonus…they are perfect for our fave fall comfort food recipes. Try some of these fall foods that your farmer’s market is likely to have:
Get Creative With Your Recipes – Okay you love potatoes but did you know that parsnips and Kholrabi can replace them in your beef stew? Yep, you can barely tell! If you cannot stomach salads in this cool weather than make a warm spinach salad. Try some new recipes and give those mystery veggies a try.
Preserve Your Bounty – You can dehydrate, pickle, can, ferment, and freeze all the bounty of fall so that it will last through the cold winter months. That way you can enjoy those last tomatoes, cukes, and apples long after the snow has driven them into the deep recesses of your memory. All it takes is a little planning and some storage space. Then you have healthy winter foods stocked up and ready to go.