In the Ozarks, I feel the farmers markets’ really don’t start to hit their stride until June. This is the time of year when I yearn to go to the market and roam. It seems that there is something new coming into season every week. I want to stroll and put together a weekly meal plan as I go.
My schedule, however, does not allow me this luxury right now. Instead I had a couple of “target” items I need to finish out the meals for the week. So I made a quick trip to the morning market of the Greater Springfield Farmers Market on a grey Tuesday. The Tuesday market was small, even smaller than I recalled from last year, with perhaps 10 or so well stocked venders. Maybe it was the day of the week or perhaps the threat of rain, but the market was so small I didn’t get everything I had hoped to get. I was able to get green beans for the green curry I had on the menu but mushrooms were nowhere to be found. Blueberries have hit their short local growing season, but there were none at this market. I did grab some perfect zucchini to make my favorite vegan baked ziti recipe.
I did get an idea of what was coming into season to help me plan my meals for the NEXT week. This along with the posts I see from the Farmers Market of the Ozarks Facebook page helped me plan a menu for the coming two weeks and make a list of what I wanted to pick up the following Saturday at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks.
Social media is a great way to stay in tune with what is fresh and bountiful at your local market. Farmers Market of the Ozarks has a very active Facebook page with plenty of pictures of what’s in season and special events coming up. (Including the Party in the Park they are participating in as part of the Grand Opening Celebration of Farmers Park the last weekend in June).
With a plan in place I was able to do another quick farmers market run between sessions last Saturday. Blueberries were the first thing I bought. I had no special recipe planned I just wanted to have some of those sweet gems before they disappeared for the year. (The pint I got disappeared by Sunday afternoon). Plus I got the other essential items on my list like bok choy and basil. Did you know if you put a bunch of basil in a vase with water it will grow roots and stay fresh? You’ll have fresh basil for weeks and your kitchen will smell amazing!
There were plenty of other herbs, greens, tomatoes and squash. I can’t wait to do my next meal plan! I also can’t wait for peaches to make an appearance. Shouldn’t be long now.
How do you plan meals to take advantage of the freshest summer vegetables and fruits? How does your market keep you informed and educated about the best your local farmers have to offer?