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Families enjoy a U Pick 'Em Farm in Davenport, CA, where strawberries grow by the sea!!

A farmer's market changes continuously as new products come into season. Last week at the end of May, cherries, corn, and peaches appeared suddenly. It feels like nature's fashion show.

One benefit of a farmer's market for the consumer is that the food offered is just hours old, often picked the day or morning before the market opened.

Recently I shot some photos that really illustrate this freshness. Look at the leaves on these strawberries, which came from a farm stand right on the ocean, just north of Santa Cruz. The strawberries are very sweet while their tops look so fresh and green:

And the types of artichokes and fresh young garlic you can buy from a farmer versus a grocery store have a much different aesthetic. These specimens came from Hollister, CA, and they are 1 day old and gorgeous:

Now you can see what new garlic (ail nouveau) looks like before it is dried and sold as a white bulb. The flavor of fresh garlic is very delicate.

The artichokes are almost sculpture-like in their appearance.

The cherries are very fresh and they appear almost painted in various shades of red. The leaf from the tree was found in their quart container and it gives away their young age:

The silk on the sweet, white corn is so white and dry:

And the flesh of the peaches and apricots is ripe, juicy and sweet in this sliced salad:

Laura Parker, a fine art painter, and author of Taste of Place, has an excellent activity that she does in her art installations and when I read about it I wanted to share it with all of you because I thought it is such a fun activity for a nutrition, cooking, or grocery tour class. She presents dirt for people to smell and then has them eat the produce that came from that dirt. This might be a great way for you to bring a market to your next presentation!

Of course if you don't want to go to all that trouble, check out 8 new Food Art Posters, just published in our Nutrition Education Store store today. You can display these in your cafeteria, office, class, or wellness fair. Each one has a story about the award-winning photo that is featured in the poster:


If you are ready to go to a market you can see all of the articles and tips we have published here from handouts to cooking demos to meals made entirely on a BBQ or fun dinner ideas with a market basket.

Want more stories about how shopping local helps farmers and the community? Visit CivilEats.com and their Local Food channel.

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