I’m guilty as charged when it comes to a standard farmers’ market routine; my Saturday morning market run always includes a visit to my egg guy, then my favorite stand for whatever greens are in season, and then a swing by the Irish man who runs a smoked salmon stand. After that I pick up a container of plain spreadable chevre at Fraga Farm and finally cruise by the New Cascadia booth for some gluten-free seed bread. Every. Single. Weekend. This kind of a routine certainly never feels like a rut, but this week marks National Farmers’ Market Week, and even the most seasoned of farmers’ market visitors sometimes need some new inspiration for enjoying all that markets have to offer.
National Farmers’ Market Week kicked off yesterday and runs through August 7. This bodes well for promoting healthy, local and sustainable food, even in more conventional areas that are new to the farmers market trend, which means if you haven’t made it out to a farmers’ market yet this season, it’s about time! Here are just a few ways you can celebrate.
1. Find a new market
Feel like you need to hit the refresh button and see some new stands and farmers? The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a search engine that lets you track down markets geographically. This is also a great way to track down markets to visit when you’re out of town for the weekend and visiting a new city.
2. Take the kids
Making a trip to the farmers’ market a family event is just another step in creating food savvy, local-loving kids.
3. Get creative
If you’re a frequent market-goer like myself, why not try cooking-up some seasonal dishes that are new and exciting? Check out what’s local and in season and then pick a few items that don’t normally make it into your market basket.
4. Throw a party
Plan a farmers’ market themed potluck and require your guests to bring dishes made solely from market produce. Encourage them to bring recipes and you might just end up with a few new seasonal recipes favorites.
5. Take pictures
The only thing better than shopping at farmers’ markets is taking pictures at farmers’ market; take your camera with you on your next visit and try to capture just what makes your local farmers market special. To celebrate National Farmers Market Week, I’m bringing you a selection of my favorite Portland farmers’ market photos from this season. Enjoy!
Editor’s note: This is the latest installment of Anna Brones’s column at EcoSalon, Foodie Underground. Each week, Anna will be taking a look at something new and different that’s taking place in the underground food movement, from supper clubs to mini markets to culinary avant garde.
Images: Anna Brones