It's that time of the year to venture out to your local Farmer's Market to let the seasonal produce drive your nutrition choices and exploration! If you can't tell... I love a good Farmer's Market and I'll give you a few reasons why:
1. Variety of Produce- The local Farmer's Markets here are great for supplying so much produce and so many different types of produce for our small area. We, of course, have a lot of seasonal produce in Iowa, but many of the farmers start their plants through the winter and can supply some of the produce before we even think to see it in our gardens.
2. Support Local Farmers- I grew up on a small dairy farm and I will always, always, be partial to those who put in the hard work to farm. I also do not have too much of a green thumb and I love that others will take the time to grow produce that I typically "kill off" in my small garden at home.
3. Education- Not only do the Farmer's provide an abundance and variety of products for us at the Farmer's Market, but most are very knowledgeable about how to use their products, how and where their products were grown, and what makes their product special. This is a great atmosphere for families and children soak up all the extra "summer" education.
4. Communication- The Farmer's Market forces you to get out into the (hopefully) nice weather and socialize with your community. Many of us have been stuck inside all winter and with all the technology these days, it's easy to forget how to communicate and be cordial!
5. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition- Did you think I would skip this part?! What better way to drive menu and meal planning than picking up a few new fruits or veggies for your family to try each week? Not only will you be providing your family with a new taste appreciation for fruits and veggies, but you will also be introducing them to more vitamins and minerals than they have ever experienced before.
(picture from http://agritourism.travelok.com/blog/?tag=locavore)