Next Stop, Farmers' Market

June 15, 2007

This summer, whether you’re heading out on an aimless road trip, visiting family in the Midwest, or sticking around the state, you’ll undoubtedly be somewhere near a great farmers’ market. There are over 3000 farmers’ markets in the United States, all showcasing regional agriculture and usually reaching their peak around July or August. Today, we share with you a few of our favorite markets across the country and in California. Even if you won’t make it to any of these markets this summer, it’s still fun to check out their websites and see what’s going on all over America with this ripening movement!

Portland, OR
On a summer day at the Portland Farmers’ Market, huckleberries, blackberries, jostaberries, gooseberries, sylvanberries, and just about every other berry you can imagine overflow from farmers’ stalls. Farmers, ranchers and fisherpeople from Oregon and Washington bring an astounding diversity of foods to the beautiful Saturday market in downtown Portland. The market also hosts cooking demonstrations, festivals, and other educational programs.

Austin, TX
The Saturday Austin Farmers’ Market is a showcase of Central Texas food. At this market (and others around Austin) you’ll find watermelons as early as June, bison, Guajillo honey, and prickly pear cactus jam.

New York, NY
At over 40 different farmers’ markets in four boroughs, almost 200 farmers, ranchers, and fisherpeople from a six-state region sell their fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. The New York City Greenmarkets are a refreshing sight in the concrete jungle, and an important source of fresh, local food for New Yorkers.

Hilo, HI
At the Hilo farmers’ market on Hawaii’s Big Island, local farmers sell tropical fruits, flowers, and vegetables. Where else in the US can you eat pineapple, soursop, lychee, and jack fruit and call it local?

Madison, WI
The Dane County Farmers’ Market is renowned for its size and the quality of its offerings. Says one reviewer on Yelp, “Take a beautiful State Capitol building, surround it with a great square, load it with local small Wisconsin growers/producers offering fresh vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, meats, cheeses, flowers and plants and you have the best Farmer’s Market in the middle west!” It’s also one of the only farmers’ markets in the Midwest that’s open year-round.

Staying in the state?
In Southern California, the Santa Monica and Santa Barbara farmers’ markets, brimming with avocados, cherimoyas, and delicious citrus, are not to be missed. Closer to home, the Davis Farmers Market is a bustling community hub on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings. If you’re heading north, the North Coast Grower’s Association holds several markets hosting farmers that come exclusively from Humboldt County.

If you stop at one of these cities (or any other city) on your summer vacation, patronize the farmers’ market! It is an enjoyable way to connect with the local harvest seasons and food culture. Even if you don’t have a kitchen to prepare food in, you can still grab a big bag of fruit, bring home honey and jams, and pick up snap peas, carrots, cheeses, and cured meats for a picnic or your trip home.