For many people, the return of the farmers market means that summer is truly here. A delightful weekend routine can be established around summer meals gleaned from the market, with leftovers spilling over into weekday lunch buckets: corn salad, zucchini pasta, a slice of sweet melon for dessert.
But for those who are prone to the Saturday morning sleep-in, be honest: Have you been the farmers market yet this summer? If not, here are a few reasons why you should check it off your list.
Where I live we have farmers markets year-round, but as much as I love the winter market, the summer market is undeniably the highlight of my year. Here are a few things that make the summer market special for me.
4 Reasons to Make It to the Market in the Summertime
1. Lingering on a Leisurely Morning
Most markets have coffee, prepared food, and tables/chairs/benches for lingering. Take advantage of the warmer summer weather by going a little early to meet a friend for breakfast. Then shop the market before it gets too crowded, ending with a cup of coffee and a treat before heading home.
2. Fruit by the Case
The market is a natural source for summer berries and stone fruit bought by the case for canning/preserving. Many farmers have cases of fruit offered at a discount, usually ripe and ready for preserving. It's helpful to order in advance if you want to be sure to have enoug,h but it also can be inspiring to just pick up what happens to be on offer in that quantity.
3. Special Vendors
Over the years, I've learned to trace the season by who is selling at the market. Certain vendors will pop in for a few weeks with their specialty crop, such as strawberries and cherries or corn, and it's a delight to trace the arc of the season by their appearance.
4. The Sheer Variety of Summer
I love the winter market, but the sheer abundance and variety of the summer market is astonishing. Still, it's sometimes possible to take it all for granted, so be sure to find ways to renew your appreciation. One fun thing to do is to choose a variety of tomato or berry or peach from every stall and then host a tasting at home. (Kids especially like to do this.) Or try to purchase one thing you've never bought or tasted before as a way to broaden your horizons.
5 Good Reads for a Better Market Experience
- 10 Etiquette & Shopping Tips to Help You Enjoy the Farmers Market
- 6 Ways to Maximize Your Trip to the Farmers Market
- The Farmers' Market: Helpful Hints and Etiquette Tips
- 5 Things Not to Say (or Do) at the Farmers Market
- 5 Reasons Why Your Partner Doesn't Actually Want to Go to the Farmers Market With You