If you are searching for the most fresh, nutritious, delicious and locally grown foods for your summer BBQ then look no further than your neighborhood famer’s market. The best seasonal fruits, vegetables, flowers and more can be found at these community farmer’s markets.
Here are some of the best reasons to support your local farmer’s market:
1. Picked at its peak. Farmer’s markets are your best source for freshly picked, in season produce that is at its peak in flavor and nutrition. The brightly colored fruits and vegetables at a farmers’ market taste fresher and are better for you than those bought at a supermarket. It is also the best place for just-picked seasonal vegetables that are perfect for grilling on the BBQ.
Nothing says summer BBQ like corn on the cob directly off the grill. The caramelizing flames and touch of smoke do wonders for any vegetable.
2. Fruit, too. Yes, that garden-fresh fruit is perfect for the grill. Most people don't think about cooking fruit, let alone grilling fruit. But the intense heat of the grill will add fantastic flavor to any fruit. The sugars in the fruit will brown slightly over the fire, picking up the grill flavor and make any fruit ready to eat in minutes, especially topped with a scope of ice cream. Hard fruits like apples, pears and especially the hot weather treat of pineapples are the easiest to grill since they hold their shape and texture while cooking. Just tell the vendor at the farmer’s market that you are searching for a firm fruit that is just short of being perfectly ripe and can handle the heat of the BBQ.
3. Kids. Taking your children to see the vegetables and fruits directly from a nearby garden in the booths at the farmer’s market is a great way to encourage them to make healthy choices and have them learn about foods grown in your area. Let them pick out something new to try. The allow them to help prepare it at a weekend BBQ.
4. Something new. Have you ever tasted gooseberries or rhubarb? Many farmers markets offer lesser known fruits and vegetables, providing a variety that can be both tasty and nutritious that will enhance your summertime BBQ. Nutritious mushrooms, eggplants and even peaches deliver a unique and inspiring taste to liven up any BBQ. Try grilling a flatbread pizza smothered in produce from a farmer’s market this summer…you’ll be astounded on how good it tastes and it will likely become a grilled BBQ favorite in your household.
5. Relationships. The vendors at farmer’s markets are happy to interact and get to know their customers. Plus they often have great suggestions on how to prepare their homegrown items for your family’s BBQ or dinner. It creates an excellent opportunity to communicate with those who grow or create the foods that you eat. It’s important to know what you’re eating. And what better way to find out what’s in your food then being able to talk to the person who grows it and sells it to you? You can also feel good that you’re supporting local farmers and small business owners
6. More than produce. Farmer’s markets are not just for zucchini or tomatoes. Scrumptious breads, flowers and even pet food are available at farmer’s markets all over the country.
7. Love the planet. It’s much more sustainable to eat food that is locally grown. Eating food grown in the local area cuts down on the money, energy and resources needed to ship the food to you. By cutting down on the natural resources used to transport your food to you, you’re doing your part to help the environment.
Farmer’s markets provide the best source for" clean eating" and unprocessed food. It doesn't matter if you live in the city or the country, farmers' markets exist everywhere.
The popularity of farmer’s markets has never been greater in the United States. Over 8,100 farmers markets now are listed in the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory and the growth trend is expected to continue as city dwellers and country folks alike flock to find garden-fresh produce to enhance their summer BBQs and eat healthier all year long.