Spring into Meatless Monday at Your Local Farmers Market

May 9th, 2016


pexels-photo-70861Smell the strawberries and taste the sugar snap peas!

Spring is prime time to visit your local farmer’s market. Not only will you support your local growers by buying from them, you’ll also have access to the freshest and ripest produce available in your region. As well, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to develop a relationship with your farmers and ask questions like: How did you grow this? Is it organic? How do you cook it best? When all is said and purchased, there’s nothing like cooking a delicious meal with fresh fruits and vegetables grown by people you know. Plus, shopping locally cuts down on the long-distance transportation of conventional agriculture, which often leaves toxic by-products in the environment.

How to find a market near you to visit? Check out the Eat Well Guide where they’ve hand-picked markets, farms and other sources of local sustainable food. Or, plan a destination trip to visit some of the great farmer’s markets in the U.S., like Union Square’s Greenmarket in New York, or Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, or  Sweet Auburn Market in Atlanta. If you don’t want to fill your suitcase with greens, you can definitely take home regional goodies like homemade honey or preserves. And for sure, there will be lots of samples to nosh on – from homemade breads to artisanal cheeses.

Take a Farmer’s Market Tour with Chef Bryce Shuman

 

While farmer’s markets are great for getting the best in-season produce, it’s important to know what’s in season in your region. In general, lettuces, greens, turnip, kale and some root vegetables like onions and fennel are signatures of Spring. You’re also likely to feast your eyes on strawberries, okra, rhubarb and asparagus. Check out this guide for what is ripest in your region.

And for your next Meatless Monday lunch or dinner, try our Chilled Asparagus Pea Soup – a perfect nod to Springtime at your local farmers market!