Farmers Markets: Bringing the Farm to Table
all of the unique food finds after a trip to the local farmers market can be a challenge.
With a little planning, your field trip to the farmers market can be a perfect way
to introduce your family to new foods while learning where our food comes from
— an experience all won't soon forget.
are the six most important things to remember for bringing a piece of the farm
back to your table.
- Plan ahead. Bring a list of
what foods you need. Scoping out the market's website or event guide gives an
idea of what is offered. Get your child excited about what new foods will be there,
and ask your child what new things they would like to try.
- Try something
Challenge yourself and your child to try at least one new food item. The
farmers market is the perfect setting for sampling unique foods. Many food
stands will offer tasters to passersby interested in trying their foods.
- Talk to the
Take this opportunity to meet your local farmers and producers in a relaxed
setting. Use this time to have a conversation with the people responsible for
growing or making your food. Farmers enjoy getting to know you and appreciate
your interest in their crops.
- Ask questions. Not sure how to
incorporate that purple potato into a dish your family would like? Ask the individuals
selling the foods; they are a wealth of knowledge for various ideas of how to
use their food as ingredients in your recipes. Some even have recipes available
for you to take home.
- Follow the MyPlate
Most farmers markets offer a wide variety of foods: most are delicious and
nutritious, but some are high in calories. When choosing foods, remember the USDA's MyPlate method which emphasizes
making half your plate fruits and vegetables, and
the rest of your plate with whole grains and lean protein.
- Make a farm-to-table
Now, use a medley of what you gathered at the farmers market to prepare your
meal. Involve your child in the kitchen, helping to prepare the various
ingredients. Try this Heirloom Tomato-Basil Salad recipe after going to your
next farmers market:
5 heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
fresh chopped basil
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Toss together and serve either alone or on top of a bed of