Pad Your Pantry with Local Foods from the Farmers Market

March 13, 2020

A home-cooked meal is one of the most grounding and nourishing ways to care for yourself and your family, especially when other things in the world feel beyond our control. Keeping your pantry and fridge stocked with a supply of dried goods, oils, and seasonings can provide all the building blocks you need to feed yourself well under any circumstances.

In addition to getting your fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins, you can also fulfill many of your shelf-stable pantry needs at the farmers market. The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market will be open tomorrow, and we encourage everyone to stay healthy, stock up on fresh food and pantry items, and support our local farmers and food makers.

Farmers markets provide a safe outlet to access food in a spacious, open-air setting, with the comfort of knowing where it came from and how far it traveled. Here are 13 locally grown and made foods from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market to keep your larder well stocked. Stay well, and get cooking!

Dried beans: An important food staple with a long shelf life, beans tout a long list of health benefits, and their high fiber content keeps you feeling fuller longer. Cooking dried beans is more economical and nutritious than buying canned beans, not to mention more flavorful and nutritious. Keep an eye out for heirloom varieties at the farmers market.

Available at Dirty Girl Produce, Fifth Crow Farm, Iacopi Farms, Lonely Mountain Farm, Tierra Vegetables

Rice: A perfect companion to beans and nourishing basis to any meal, brown rice is a nutrient-dense, unmilled alternative to white rice, with a mildly nutty flavor. It is also a source of protein, good fats, fiber, vitamin E, B complex vitamins, and complex starch. 

Available at Massa Organics

Flours and grains: For your winter baking projects, you’ll find whole-grain flours, recently milled from local farms and often available in flavorful varieties, at the farmers market. Whole wheat flour contains the bran, germ, and endosperm and has protein, fiber, and many nutrients. You’ll also find corn polenta and popcorn at the market.

Available at Capay Mills, Eatwell Farm, Tierra Vegetables

Nuts and nut butters: A nutritious snack or addition to any dish, nuts are high in fat and protein content. Considered “brain food,” nuts are a good source of vitamin E, essential fatty acids, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium. Find almonds, walnuts, and more at the farmers market.

Available at G.L. Alfieri Farms, Glashoff Farms, Old Dog Ranch, Massa Organics, Winters Fruit Tree

Olive oil: An essential pantry item for roasting or sautéing vegetables and making salad dressings. 

Available at Bariani Olive Oil, Frog Hollow Farm, Sciabica Olive Oil

Vinegar: Another essential for salad dressings or for bringing added acidity and brightness to any dish. 

Available at Bariani Olive Oil

Honey: This natural sweetener is believed to have immune-boosting and healing benefits, making a great addition to tea, yogurt, or baked goods. Beekeepers at the farmers market are sourcing from local hives, with minimal to no processing.

Available at City Bees, Marshall’s Farm Natural Honey

Seasonings: Add zest to any dish with a pinch of herbal salt, sugar, or herbs, handcrafted and dried using organic products from the farm. 

Available at Allstar Organics, Eatwell Farm

Pickles and ferments: Keeping your fridge stocked with pickled and fermented foods can offer quick ways to incorporate bright flavor and dense nutrition into simple meals, and they will keep refrigerated for weeks to months. Whether kraut, kimchi, miso, or koji, fermented foods boast an array of probiotic benefits to support your gut health. 

Available at Aedan Fermented, Volcano Kimchi, Wise Goat Organics

Canned goods and preserves: Sweeten your meals with preserves such as jams, jellies, shrubs, and syrups, crafted from fruit sourced from local farms. You can also find canned tomatoes and salsas at some farms, like Dirty Girl Produce and Oya Organics.

Available at Dirty Girl Produce, Lonely Mountain Farm, McGinnis Ranch, Oya Organics, Winters Fruit Tree

Dried fruits: Dried fruit extends the season and is perfect for snacking. Dried apricots, peaches, persimmons, tomatoes, and more can be found at some of our farms that grow fruit.

Available at Blossom Bluff Orchards, Everything Under the Sun, Frog Hollow Farm

Fresh fruits and vegetables: The winter farmers market offers an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, high in vitamin C and other nutrients to keep your immune system strong. Stock up on oranges and lemons while they are at their peak, as well as avocados, for your healthy fats. Hardy greens like brassicas (collards, kale, broccoli, kohlrabi) and root vegetables (carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, potatoes) provide deep nourishment and withstand longer storage in the fridge. Freeze, preserve, or pickle them to enjoy them later. 

Nourishing Winter Recipes

Winter Rainbow Salad | Foodwise Kids Program

Hearty Brown Rice, Butternut Squash, and Kale Soup | Sarah Henkin, CUESA

Radicchio, Beet, and Mint Salad | Joyce Goldstein, cookbook author

Root Vegetable Chips with Roasted Carrot Hummus | Joanne Weir, Kitchen Gypsy

Warm-Me-Up Soup | Foodwise Kids Program

Winter Vegetable and Farro Soup | Jason Berthold, RN74

Beans and Rice with Collard Greens | Foodwise Kids Program

Sautéed White Beans with Greens | Heidi Swanson,

Kohlrabi and Sweet Potato Fried Rice | Hollie Greene, JoyFoodly

Winter Squash Curry | Kana Azhari, Healing Kitchen