Happy Monday, friends! Hope you all enjoyed your weekends. Every Wednesday (or most, at least) I try to make it to my local farmers market. Not only is it a great place to get delicious produce, homemade breads, pizza dough, and donuts (my fave!) it's also just fun to get out of the house and walk a bit. Sometimes the market can get overwhelming, so here are some tips for you to conquer your farmers market!
- You'll have the biggest selection and the least amount of people to deal with when you get there right around opening! However, the deals are usually hottest around closing.
- Ask the farmers or workers questions. They are there to help, and who better to help you than the hands that grew the food?! Sometimes I'll ask them which basket of strawberries look the best, how to choose the right tomato and how to best store/preserve the food.
- Go to the market with a few meals in mind. Be sure the meals you want to make include fruits and veggies currently in season! Here is an interactive map I found that makes finding the in-season fruits and veggies easy! (Super interesting, too!)
- Bring a canvas bag to hold all of your goods.
- Only take the amount of money that you are going to allow yourself to spend at the market; especially if you're an over-spender!
- Peruse the entire market once before buying. This will help you find the best deals!
- If you're going to buy your flowers at the market, bring a bucket of cold water in your car to store them in on your drive home. You don't want to get home and have them wilted because of the heat. More on flowers below!
Our market has a stand of fresh blueberry donuts from Bowerman's Blueberries. I can't help but get at least 2-3 for my boyfriend and I. They are on the small side, so I don't feel as bad about it. SO good. This might be the only reason I go to the market... ;)
I always buy my flowers at the farmers market each week. They are the cheapest around, last forever, and have unique, beautiful varieties! The dahlias at the market last week were amazing, vibrant colors! I think those sunflowers were almost as big around as my head :) Some tips for caring for farmers market flowers:
- Like mentioned above, put them in water as soon as you can! I bring my own bucket of water in my car for the drive home. (I live 30 minutes from the market I go to)
- Cut stems on an angle before putting in the vase at home. This allows them to get the most water in their stem as possible.
- Change the water every 2 days. Always be sure it's cool water.
- To get the most out of the blooms, place the vase in the refrigerator while you're not at home. Flowers stay fresh longer if they are cold. Especially true for peonies!
- When they are out on display, keep them in a shaded space in your house.
Even though, technically, strawberries aren't in season in July in Michigan (thanks to that handy season map, I know they're in season in June!) these berries are delicious. I get a basket every week. The redder they are, the more ripe they are, so I try to find berries that aren't as deep red as some of them, just so they will last a bit longer!
Before I eat ANY produce from the market (or grocery store, for that matter) I always clean the produce really well. My friend Kate, who's banana muffin recipe I make all the time, told me to let strawberries soak in a bowl of water with 1 TBS apple cider vinegar. It works to totally remove any dirt, bugs, or pesticides. I let them soak for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring around the strawberries to ensure the dirt is coming off. Then I scoop out the strawberries and give them one last rinse in clean, cool water. Finish by DRYING your berries before putting them in the fridge.
I feel so much better about eating the produce after doing this!
Do you go to your local market? If so, did I miss anything?!
Enjoy the new week!xoxo