Farmer's Markets=A Sure Sign of Spring

by Sue Zelickson, Tastemaker in Residence





When I grew up farmers markets were few and far between; but now, over 80 years later we find them in every crevice and corner. The breathtaking stands that show off the farm families vast labors. They harvest, pick, and pile their produce and products on trucks before sunrise to bring them to their favorite markets to sell for our delight. The work that goes on before and after a farmers market day is momentous, both physically and mentally. 

So much depends on the weather from seeding to delivery. Many of the highlights at our Minnesota markets are only found in the summer months. Fresh picked berries and other fruits and vegetables are the best. Freshly dug potatoes of every variety and the sweet corn, are tops on my list. Jams and jellies from our local fruit farmers. pickled vegetable products and the Minnesota grown lavender made into everything from sprays to chocolate are among my favorites.

The last few years you can drink and dine at many markets. Choices range from the bottled juices and health drinks like kombucha to the grilled market foods at individual stands. 

A trip to the market with young children is a highlight and learning experience for everyone. Meeting  the farmers that grow the food they eat and asking questions becomes a precious ongoing tradition. My grown grandchildren still ask to go to the markets with me. Its the salt of the earth and we have so many options now to take advantage of right in our midst. 

I always smile when I think of how many times I have asked the Hmong farmers what to do with all those great greens they grow. Their young children would say:"Put them in soup!” Everything tastes good in soup.

Happy Spring! And get thee to a Farmers Market ASAP !! Make it a habit…

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