Family Fun at the Farmers' Market Article -
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Family Fun at the Farmers' Market

A trip to the farmers' market connects kids with the food they eat.

And who knows? It might just get them interested in eating their fruits and veggies.

Marketing Tips

  • Look for locally-grown items to support farmers in your region.
  • Ask lots of questions. If the produce isn't familiar, let growers explain what it is and how to use it in a recipe.
  • Expand your culinary horizons. Challenge your kids (and yourself) to choose at least one thing you've never tried before, then take it home and give it a try.
  • Graze. If you've never sampled a peach at the peak of ripeness, this is your opportunity. Most growers offer small tastings of their wares.
  • Buy only what you can use in a week. Use up lettuces and delicate items quickly. Carrots, apples, and heartier greens can be eaten later in the week.
  • Bring a couple of big, sturdy bags or a collapsible cart to tote your harvest.

    Fresh Tomatoes

    • Probably the most popular market item, tomatoes taste best when fully ripe. That's also when they’re the most fragile.
    • Shopping tip: be gentle. Ripe tomatoes are firm and have a wonderful aroma. If they're rock hard or don't give off any scent, they're not ripe.

    Fresh Corn

    • Although varieties of corn grown today stay sweet for longer, corn is always sweetest just after it's picked. Eat it the same day you buy it.
    • Shopping tip: look for moist, green husks. Resist peeling back the top of husk because that dries out the corn; instead, run your hand over the outside of the husk to feel for corn kernels that are plump.

    Fresh Summer Fruits & Berries

    • From peaches and plums to cherries and berries, summer fruit is often best when rinsed and eaten right out of hand.
    • Shopping tip: for berries, look for plump fruit rather than shriveled and use up quickly. Stone fruits like peaches and plums should smell fragrant; don't squeeze it, or you'll bruise ripe fruit.

    Fresh Greens & Lettuces

    • Greens and lettuces range in flavor from mild (leaf lettuces, spinach, chard) to strong (broccoli rabe, turnip greens, collards, and mustard greens).
    • Shopping tip: look for crisp, well-hydrated leaves. Spots of yellow and limp leaves are a sign that greens are older and losing flavor.

    Sep. 27, 2010 9:35 am
    Thank you for promoting Farmers Markets. Buying produce from close to home has positive impacts on both your local economy AND the environment.
    Aug. 3, 2013 4:30 pm
    Another important way to support local farms is to sign up for a CSA, (Community Supported Agriculture). In the spring you give a local farm, greenhouse, or even a garden center, a certain amount of money and when the season starts you receive a weekly box of goodies. You can buy a full or half share. It's a great way to try new things and support local families.
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