Growing up on a vegetable farm, what I ate for dinner was directly based on what page the calendar was turned to. As March emerged from the heavy gloom of western grey skies, my plate began to once again have color. The first handfuls of spinach, a gift from warmer weather and less precipitation, then baby kale and eventually salad greens. The excitement of variety and crunch lit up our kitchen, and the lentils and reheated veggie mush melted into a leftover memory of winter.
There are so many reasons to eat seasonally, but here are just a few
– If you purchase what is in season, you will end up supporting local farmers as opposed to less sustainable large corporate entities.
– Eating seasonal veggies also reduces pollution and energy consumption caused from transportation and storage.
– Seasonal food will also taste so much better and likely cost less, because it is in the peak of its season and supply is not limited.
Farmers markets are one of the easiest ways to buy seasonal vegetables and an important first sign of summer. For many, summer has fully arrived when weekends become a time to visit the market, as opposed to the grocery store, in hopes of fresher produce and food connected to a farm and a story.
Because I love food and summer, bright sundresses and trendy sandals, farmers markets have always been part of my weekend routine. Last Saturday, I went to the Union Square Farmers Market and wandered the bustling aisles for hours, sampling crunchy snap peas and aged gouda. This may sound dramatic, but the taste of lingering dirt on a freshly pulled carrot brings back memories of Montana and home. As I am not on the farm this summer, yet rather enjoying the exhilarating experience of being independent in New York City, I have realized although I am far from the local food community I grew up in, the foodie culture that is part of my vocabulary is everywhere. I am not alone in my love for summer and the abundance of freshness and color June and July bring.
Weekend markets in New York City attract thousands of people, and most come for the seasonal veggies. Yes, farmers markets are also a good excuse to wear your newest pair of retro Levi’s, or to try out the lipstick you bought last week but were unsure of whether or not the color was too bold. However, once you arrive at the market, it is almost impossible not to let the sumptuous aroma of soft peaches and tempting arrays of bodacious strawberries and frilly kale sweep you away. Come to the market for whatever reason you may, but stay and shop because Summer is a glorious time for food. And there are numerous reasons why you should fill your basket — and body — with fruits and veggies.
Here are a few things you can make, after you arrive home from the market with a bag full of seasonal vegetables: