SALSA, SWISS CHARD, AND BELL PEPPERS Find Community at the Farmers Market
fter a strange spring indoors, summer is almost here! One of my favorite parts about
summer is the opportunity to spend time with loved ones outside. A great way to do that is by visiting a farmers market. There’s nothing quite like shopping at a farmers market. Throughout history, there have always been outdoor markets to buy and sell goods, and in the United States, they hold a special significance. According to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the movement to revive farmers markets was part of a mission to reimagine American cuisine. In fact, between 1960 and 2000, the number of
farmers markets nationwide grew from 100 to 3,000, and there are even more today! Depending on which one you go to, you can experience fresh produce, local art, craft goods, fun activities for children, food trucks, live music, bar services, and more. I love visiting our local farmers market. It’s great to meet the farmers and get produce that is grown much closer to us than what is sold at the grocery store. It was through our farmers market that I learned about Berry Patch Farms in Brighton, Colorado. Berry Patch is a family-owned organic farm that sells delicious fruits and vegetables. Throughout the year, Berry Patch holds fun events for kids and families — including petting zoos and tractor rides — and in the summer and fall, people are welcome to pick lots of berries, pumpkins, and wildflowers. In addition to supporting local farmers, visiting the farmers market also gives us a greater understanding of the approaches to food in our community. On my
first visit to a farmers market, I noticed that the produce looked a little strange compared to that at the grocery store. When I asked one of the farmers, he said that the produce we see at grocery stores is held to very high aesthetic standards. If it doesn’t look perfectly uniform, then it likely won’t be put on the shelves. On top of that, depending on which region you are in, it may just be thrown straight in a landfill and not even composted. That is a terrible waste of perfectly good food, especially considering how many people could use it. The things I always look out for at the farmers market are fresh salsa, hot sauce, bell peppers, and rainbow chard. I like to use those ingredients to make a Southwest tofu scramble wrapped in a hot tortilla. It is so good! If you have the chance to visit a farmers market this summer (and it’s safe to do so), then I highly recommend making the trip. Fingers crossed they will be open!
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