When it's finally time for our Farmers Market to opens (1st Wednesday in June) I am there every week!
It's become a social event I really look forward to and provides great fresh fruit,vegetables and plants.
Check out the massive increase in farmers markets...
5 Reasons to Shop Your Local Farmers Market:
1) IT'S FRESH and harvested/grown more recently than food shipped and stores at supermarkets. Produce is picked when ready, as opposed to being picked when they are under-ripe so they can travel well. It's more nutrient-dense by reducing travel time and travel can cause nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E and folic acid to oxidize in the air, as they are more sensitive to light and heat.
2) IT'S HEALTHY since it’s the difference between a watery, pink tomato and a field fresh, juicy red tomato that bursts in your mouth when you bite into it.
3) IT'S SUSTAINABLE because it takes a lot less energy for your local farmer to deliver his wares to the farmers’ market than it does for produce, meat and other food to be flown in from around the globe.
4) IT KEEPS YOUR DOLLARS CLOSE TO HOME by supporting local business, but also directly impacts a local farming family by ensuring the livelihood and continuation of farms in your local area. It puts your money in the hands of those who are working your local lands.
5) IT'S NEIGHBORLY and makes a great community events, here in IL we spend many months cooped up indoors so it’s natural that these outdoor, open-air farmers’ markets become a place to meet your neighbors and new friends! Also the farmers know their stuff – they know the land and their wares.
AND IT OPENS EARLY when I worked I was still able to attend our local market, they start unloading their wares at 6:00, and I was there picking out my fruits and veggies.
The last few weeks I've been buying berries, beautiful raspberries, blueberries and strawberries!
This last week one farmer had a sale going on buy 3 get 1 free, and I took advantage. Since the hubs and I couldn't eat all of these before they spoil I preserve them.
When I get home I wash my fruit, and let dry. Then I spread them out on a sheet pan..
making sure they are in a single layer. Then freeze for around 30 minutes...
I want them solid enough that they won't stick together, but not frozen solid. These were taken out after 30 minutes.
Next I placed the berries into double freezer bags (bag in 1 and slid into another freezer bag).
These are so much better than grocery store frozen berries that are all stuck together. You can easily remove just the amount you need.
I asked the berry farmer and he said they should last for a year.
I use this method for all types of berries, for my strawberries I've frozen them sliced and whole.
Go check out your local farmers market, you'll be glad you did.