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Favorite Time of Year at Farmers' Markets


weinoo
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Yesterday, while walking through the local farmer's market, I came to the realization that it's my favorite time of year for the farmer's market.

I mean you have the summer bounty, literally overflowing - tomatoes (especially the late season ones that like to ripen all at the same time), peppers, eggplant, corn, cucumbers, melons, etc.

And then you have the fall vegetables and fruits as well - all sorts of greens, brassicas, garlic, onions, potatoes, winter squashes, apples, pears, etc.

And - it's not too hot to cook. I took home a few pounds of these wild looking Italian sauce tomatoes, which are heavy and meaty...

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What's your favorite time of year to shop at a farmer's market? And, why?

Edited by weinoo (log)

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I live in the semi-country where paradoxically we don't have huge farmer's markets. Most are an untended table by the road with a coffee can for money. They usually have tomatoes and a couple other things. Not inspiring. One 10 table job is at the township building on Saturdays and has more variety as well as some Amish and Mennonites who always perk-up a farmer's market IMHO. There's also a guy who has a small table and a sign saying "Talk with an Architect 25 cents" He seems sane and doesn't look like a Peanuts character.

I will often pick up tomatoes and some non-standard mushrooms that you cant find in the supermarket. We are blessed with great mushrooms around here, this being the "Mushroom Capital of the World".

Edited by gfweb (log)
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Here in Ecuador, I live in the city with the largest farmer's market in the country (it's something like 10 acres). It's active every day except Tuesdays and Saturdays, but the best day for it is Sunday when everything comes in fresh from everywhere. The best season is just coming in - mangoes, stone fruit, mortiños (wild andean blueberries), and the best of the Valencia and Hielo juice oranges.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I love it each and every week of the year, but I especially enjoy it in the dead of winter.

There are no people . . . In New York City, the farmer's market is a tourist attraction, which is festive, but not when you are trying to do your grocery shopping and you want to get out of there and get your other errands done.

Once in a while, some hens will be laying, and that's a great surprise. Incredible micro greens grown in a greenhouse. Fresh as spring. I love root vegetables, but most of all: squash. Weird squash of every stripe. Excellent soup market.

Maple syrup. Apples. OK, aging apples, but apples.

Best of all, the exact Saturday that new stuff starts to show up and the cycle returns again. So exciting.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Stone fruit, especially peaches and nectarines and plums (and hybrids thereof) are really my weakness, so I would have to say July and into August. Corn, tomatoes, fresh garlic and onion, baby yellow watermelons and potato fingerlings are also at their best. So....I would say mid-summer! The peaches are now watery and bland, and I am suffering serious withdrawal.

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One of the things I love about the markets here in China, apart from trying to guess what weird things are, is that everything is very seasonal. No strawberries flown in from Peru when they are out of season here.

So every day is kind of an adventure. What will they have which they didn't have yesterday? And it's great to watch the seasons spin round and greet old friends when they arrive - the first asparagus, the first button mushrooms, the first pineapples. You could set your watch by the pineapples!

Right now it's straw mushroom season. In a week or two they will disappear for another year.

But something else will turn up!

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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this time of year is what I like best. very end of summer into the start of fall. My wife and I went to the St. Jacobs farmers market thursday morn and the mix of produce at this time of year is awesome. There were many varieties of Squash, concord grapes, on the stalk brussel sprouts, new crop apples, pears , plums ,potatoes, sweet corn, onions, parsley root, parsnips,carrots, melons, late season peaches (baby golds) to list just a small portion.

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Midwinter is wonderful here in the coastal gulf south: blood oranges, LA sweet oranges, all sorts of other citrus, greens of every hue from cavolo Nero and mustard to red leaf lettuce, fennel, brassicas from napa cabbage to colored cauliflower, green onions, spinach, a wide variety of herbs, some beans, etc. it's not as colorful as summer, but the weathers cool enough to enjoy shopping outdoors and cooking.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Like others I'm torn between my favourite market season. Like Shel_B I can go to a different market every day; well in my case except Tuesday.

In spring its seeing the new local produce start to appear, in summer its seeing lots of good stuff & the tourists oohing & awing, this time of year its the end of summer vegetables plus in early crop apples and in winter its the local gossip.

Right now is probable the best from a cooking point of view, but I'm still torn.

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In terms of what's available, I don't have a favourite time of year, but visually, autumn is definitely my favourite. I've remorslessly hauled people from their beds early in the morning, so they could see the one in Union Square (NYC) at this time of year, the low-lying sun spiling over the produce, just few quiet shoppers drifing about.

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Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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