Summer is the time for wondering through the farmer's market. Sampling fresh fruits and veggies and filling your basket with the delicious local produce. Shoppers meet and greet farmers or reunite after the long winter months.
Even for the most savvy foodies, knowing all the ins and outs can be can be a little overwhelming. With all the options, it's difficult to know what to buy and when to buy it. Here are some tips to get the most out of your market:
1. The early bird gets worm (and the tomato) Getting to the market early will help you get the best and freshest produce. Popular items can sell out quickly when they are just coming into season.
2. Overbuying isn't the end of the world It's ok to get more than you can eat when it comes to fresh fruits and veggies. Preserving your food by canning or freezing it will let you enjoy the taste of summer even longer. Here are some tips for freezing your harvest.
3. Whole vegetables are the way to go The convenience of scrubbed and trimmed veggies can be temping. Opt for produce with the roots and leaves still attached, they'll last longer.
4. Embrace the unfamiliar Go ahead and try those odd looking kohlrabi and unusual rutabaga. The market is a great place to discover new vegetables. Try asking the farmer for recipe tips and the best ways to store them.
5. Find out why it's not organic Not all local farms are certified organic, but that doesn't mean their veggies are hosed down in chemicals. Sometimes the smaller farms choose not to become certified, but still care for the health of their plants and land. If a farmer doesn't label their produce organic, it pays to ask why.