June is here, bringing with it a colorful and dizzying array of vegetables.
Gardens are filled to bursting with ripe and glorious healthy foods, and it’s the perfect time of year to visit your local farmer’s market and pick up some treats for your table.
Farmer’s markets are a great way to pick up fresh, local, seasonal goodies. When you buy your fruits and vegetables from these sellers, you can be certain your dollars are going to help people who are passionate about what they grow and what you’re eating. Your dollars support local farmers and stay in the community … and you also get some of the best-tasting, freshest produce money can buy. Many times, the food is picked just that morning rather than weeks ago, only to be planed, boated, or trucked in from distant locations.
Overwhelmed by the variety? Be brave and try something new. The internet is brimming with recipes for all sorts of alien-seeming veggies, from celeriac and patty-pan squash to kholrabi and beauty-heart radishes. You never know when your taste buds will fall in love with one of these ugly-but-charming fellows.
Many smaller communities have their own farmer’s markets in addition to the larger ones often found in major city areas. Visit http://www.localharvest.org/ to find a farmer’s market near you!
In addition, you can often sign up for a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) share and have a brimming box of veggies waiting for you at the pick-up site. This is a great way to force yourself to try new veggies, as you don’t have control over what goes in the box.
Do yourself a favor and try a new vegetable this year. Grill some asparagus this spring, or smile over a steaming cup of spicy celeriac and parsnip soup in the fall. Try your hand at a colorful stir fry and drizzle some maple syrup over a baked acorn squash.
Be courageous, be bold, be creative. It’s vegetable season!