Healthy eating starts with fresh, seasonal produce, preferably from your local farmers market.
Years ago when I started my column at Synapse and began advocating seasonal vegetables as the best path to health, one of the most common questions I got was, “How do I know what’s in season?”
There are many reasons I write these updates every week, but occasionally it is important to step back and make sure my objectives are met with each post.
Here are the main goals I aim to achieve with my Farmers Market Updates:
As mentioned above, I hope that by reading these Farmers Market Updates you will get a feel for what is in season. Even if you are shopping at your local supermarket, seasonal produce is your best bet.
Follow along to get a general idea of what you should be eating this time of year.
For me just seeing the beautiful vegetables, fruit and other goodies at the farmers market makes me want to spend the rest of the weekend in the kitchen–and I’m not exactly the domestic type. With Farmers Market Updates I hope to inspire you to find your own local markets and look for the best seasonal produce you can find.
Going to the farmers market is by far the best part of my week and I wish you could all experience it with me. I realize not everyone has the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market to wake up to on Saturday mornings, but your own farmers market is still better than anything you will find at a big chain store.
There is nothing like spending a little time with the local farmers that grow the food you eat. Every meal you prepare with these ingredients is special, even if it isn’t exotic.
I’m the first to admit that cooking can be scary and the thought of it overwhelming. Most of us were never taught how to use a stove, let alone poach an egg. But we are extremely proficient at using Google to help us figure things out, right?
Cooking is no exception.
I make a point of finding things at my farmers market that I do not know how to cook. Why? Because exploring new foods is one of the most important things in making healthy eating fun and enjoyable. You can even rediscover foods you think you don’t like by buying them at the height of season and learning to cook them properly.
I promise, liking things is more fun than not liking things
I try to convey this sense of adventure in my Farmers Market Updates. This week, for example, I bought all the flavors I associate with Thai food even though I do not have a specific recipe in mind. I also purchased some lemon cucumbers simply because they looked cool.
You do not need to know how to cook something before you buy it. Vegetables are cheap, just get what looks good and figure the rest out later. Email me if you need suggestions!
Farmers Market Update
Summer officially started this week in San Francisco (according to me). With melons and figs popping up all over the place, there is no way I can keep sitting here and telling you it is springtime.
Summer tomatoes are already fabulous, summer squash are as sweet as can be (especially the yellow Zephyrs!) and who knew there were so many kinds of cucumber? Green garlic has morphed into the bulbous “fresh garlic.” Green beans are starting to appear and there are 2 kinds of basil. Not one, but two!
Darya is happy.
Check out my first Farmers Market Update video from my new apartment. It is just under 3 minutes.
- Summer tomatoes (Bruins Farms)
- Lemon cucumbers (The Peach Farm)
- Chinese eggplant (Chue’s Farm)
- Lemongrass (Chue’s Farm)
- Thai chilies (Chue’s Farm)
- Thai basil (Chue’s Farm)
- Cilantro (Chue’s Farm)
- French green beans (McGinnis Ranch)
- Blueberries (Triple Delight Blueberries)
- Boysenberries (Glashoff Farms)
- Garlic (Short Night Farms)
- Limes (Bernard Ranches)
- Green shallots (Dirty Girl Produce)
- Purslane (Marin Roots Farm)
- Summer squash (Lucero Organic Farms)
- Bing cherries (Kashiwase Farms)
What did you find at the market this week?