As the spring season swings towards longer days and shorter nights, so too arrives the incoming summer weather! Summer weather means burgeoning gardens and fields, ready to deliver tasty produce for the picking! Enter veggie-licious local farmers’ market or markets!
What a wonderful way to connect with one’s community! Of course, all of the bountiful offerings will vary by climate and soil in one’s respective region of the country and world, but oh for the beauty of it all! Summer-fresh strawberries are a-plenty, perfect for snacking! Or, if one has the patience and fortitude not to eat all of these tasty treats straight-up from the market, how about a garnish in salads with a touch of one’s favorite vinaigrette, or maybe a fresh fruit salad featuring subtle yet sensational strawberries as the stars? Who could forget strawberry pies, strawberry smoothies and juices and jams!
Spring greens also appear to be abounding everywhere too. Nothing’s tastier than fresh greens! Perfect for the best salads of the year or a simple stir fry to highlight the flavors of beautiful greens. A touch of oil and a hint of garlic, onions and/or ginger, will do the trick with minimum prep time. Perhaps a gentle steaming, so that they remain crisp yet tender–and perfect for a warm salad base? Fresh greens from local farmers’ markets taste so remarkable, it’s hard to imagine having to eat non-local food.
It makes one wonder how “old” the greens in the supermarkets really are if they have to travel across the country in refrigerated trucks using diesel gas. Ok, true, many people in the United States would not have the produce they eat without trucks toting produce around, however, it’s just a point to be made that when possible, eating local is quite desirable! If not for any other reasons but to meet the people who grow the food that we consume, give back to the community and oh, of course: the flavor!
Farmers are wonderful people that are often underestimated in our society, at least monetarily speaking. Too often, people are more concerned with high volumes and blemish-free food, which comes at such a heavy price. If we all knew the true toll, which I doubt anyone could ever actually estimate, would we still wish for the same agri-industrial production? In a time when the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) is calling for the need to increase global food production by leaps and bounds, is this merely an end of the pipe solution?
What if… people didn’t eat food that required so many resources to create in the first place? Eating lower on the food chain? What if governments didn’t stockpile food because of price concerns? What if governments worked harder to help distribute food to those in need, rather than worrying so much about the agribusiness support in political happenings? What if growing food was more about healthy eating than lining agribusiness pockets with more profits than most farmers could ever see in 100 lifetimes?
Well, this author for sure can’t really wax poetic on the what ifs for too long…
So, let us revel, respect and rejoice in the wonderful offerings of local farmers’ markets! They offer so much more than a tasty treat, they help remind the community of just that: community!
What is being offered at your farmers’ market? How often do you get to go? Are you as excited about them as I am?
Hurray for local farmers’ markets! I can’t wait to see what else keeps growing and making its way to my local venues!