Occasionally one of my clients asks me: What should be on my weekly Farmer’s Market shopping list? It’s an easy and a complex question to answer. Easy because, yes, there are some standard things I like to buy weekly (thanks to greenhouses and good cold storage). Complex because it is the variety the seasons bring us and the diversity of crops that makes our consuming farmer’s market produce the most nutritious and the most environmentally friendly way to eat! So, there’s no standard list where that is concerned. There is just variety!
Let’s start with the weekly list. These are things that really are available year-round and I try to get at the market as opposed to the grocery store:
- Root veggies: Usually sweet potato and onions. Roast often to add to any bowl!
- Kale (I wash and keep ready in a ziplock) or swiss chard (just get 1 to avoid food waste!)
- One bag of arugula
- 1-2 squashes like butternut or acorn
- Red onion to pickle or sauté for healthy bowls
Then there’s the seasonal list. Every season provides different bounty. Buying a VARIETY of produce helps farmers keep their crop offerings diverse, helps prevent crop biodiversity from disappearing, and helps farmers’ soils remain healthy. Plus, it’s good for YOUR body. Read our earlier blog post on eating the rainbow about how every plant offers something different and unique for our bodies. Eating with the seasons and mixing up what you get at the market will help ensure that you stay healthy and get all the vitamins and minerals that these magical foods have to offer! Try choosing produce based on what you don’t know this week–don’t get things you recognize, get things you don’t! Then ask the farmer what it is and research how to cook it when you get home. Nutrient diversity!!!!
Here are a few of my favorite seasonal farmer’s market finds:
Autumn: watermelon radish, honeynut squash, chayote squash, delicata squash, chard, endive
Winter: sunchokes, onions, shallots, Brussells Sprouts, cabbage
Spring: delicate greens of all sorts! Herbs, asparagus, rhubarb, ramps, fiddleheads, peashoots, berries
Summer: cucumbers, different tomato varieties, microgreens, apricots, cantaloupe, ground cherries, plums, mint
Since it’s late autumn…try our our Sunchokes with Grapefruit, Pistachio, and Shallots dish! I know you’ll love it.