Spring has arrived! And it is one of my favorite times to go to the farmers’ market. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we are blessed with amazing farmers’ markets. We are so lucky to live amid such fertile and abundant farmland, just hours within our home. That means on a weekly basis we have access to amazing local, seasonal, and often organic produce.
It seems that each week at the market holds a new surprise. Has the green garlic arrived yet? Look at all those fava beans! What on earth to do I do with nettles? All three of these items were something new that my husband and I tried in the last few years just based on curiosity of seeing them at the farmers’ market. Now we look forward to making our nettle pesto sauce over locally made ravioli with sautéed green garlic and fava beans on the side.
Eating food when it is in season is such a treat. I really appreciate not only the wonderful fresh flavors of the food, but also realize that what I’m eating is a transitory treat to be savored.
Going to the farmers’ market is a treat for the senses—the smell of ripe strawberries in summer, the feel of the protective exteriors of squash in the fall, the luscious orange glow of citrus in the winter in varieties too many to name, the sweet/sour burst of flavor of cherries, and perhaps most importantly, the voice of the farmer who brought all this abundance to us.
One of the best aspects of the farmers’ market is being able to talk to the people involved in cultivating the produce, so you can ask questions and create a relationship with them. It not only makes the purchasing of your food a more personal experience, but also gives you the opportunity to have a voice and a choice in your food.
What are you most looking forward to seeing at your market this spring?