Driftless Adventures -

Learn the How-to’s of Farmers Markets


By Allison Croat, former Inspire(d) intern
Originally published in the Summer 2012 Inspire(d)

The sweet drip of strawberry juice down your chin is a sure sign of summer. What makes it even sweeter is knowing those strawberries were grown just down the road. Each bite offers a special blend of local flavors, and summer’s the perfect time to fill your refrigerators – and stomachs – with all things local.

Gardening, of course, is a great way to harvest fresh food all season long. It doesn’t get any more local than your own yard and you have the luxury of planting whatever you like and ignoring what you don’t. But not everyone boasts a green thumb – after all, gardening is tough.

Thankfully, there’s an alternative that involves a lot less digging. Farmers markets offer all the luxuries of local food without all of that backbreaking weeding, mulching, and watering. If you’ve never been to a market, it can be a bit daunting: stalls bursting with food so fresh it’s still covered in dirt, music and entertainment, sometimes there’s even arts and crafts in the mix. For all you market first-timers, or for anyone unsure of how to act at a farmers market, check out these tried and true tips to help make the most of fresh local food this summer.

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