A to visit Roberts in Homestead, Florida proved to be a wonderful experience. There was a huge array of tropical fruits, local-grown seasonal produce, fresh herbs, sunflowers and more! What a way to support local growers and revamp the creative juices in my kitchen. I chose mint, opal basil, baby potatoes, a red bell pepper, an extremely ripe mango, corn on the cob, fresh local-grown, ripe tomatoes, an orange, bananas and an avocado. I plan to use them during the week and the only regret is that I did not buy more. The mango and orange were sliced for a rather delectable breakfast treat. The mango literally tasted like candy, it was so ripe! I plan to try more tropical fruits the next time I go - there were many from the area that I have not heard of before. The tomatoes were astounding - they were so ripe, juicy and delicious. We ate some of them sliced fresh with just a little oil, vinegar and black pepper. Later on in the day I roasted some of the tomatoes for a simple angel hair pasta dish with roasted marinara, complete with the opal basil that was also at the market. See the recipes in this issue for a wonderful dinner idea based on fresh produce.
Why should you attend a farmer’s market? • A cheap family outing and fun event • Some exercise and Vitamin D from walking around outside. • Learn more about produce • Try new things • Eat more fruits and vegetables • Get items that are fresher, better tasting and naturally ripe • Support local growers • Great bargains on local seasonal produce
Here is what you should bring: • Cash • Hat/sunglasses • Water - if it is hot outside you might get thirsty on your expedition • Bug spray if there are mosquitoes near you • A bag or box to carry your items home • Cooler with ice in case you have other errands to run afterwards - some items like leafy lettuce and fresh herbs are more delicate and may not hold up that well in a hot car.
For More Information To find a farmer’s market near you, visit http://www.localharvest.org/
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.