Farmers' Markets - Let's Go Shopping!

Right now is the best time to visit farmers’ markets: They’re alive with their biggest bounty of fresh produce—gloriously juicy, crisp, and fragrant. These green markets do more than supply us with colorful fruits and vegetables; they reflect and shape our culture, reinforcing our community spirit and connecting us on a grassroots level to the people who grow the food we feed our families. And that, by extension, inspires us to be better cooks.

Thanks to my friends at Cooking Light, they've got quite a few tips, tricks and great resources available for all those who can't wait to hit the farmers markets this season! I've highlighted three articles I found super helpful and informative - hopefully you'll learn something new and keep these tips in mind for your next farmers market visit!

Here in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, there are plenty of farmers markets to visit throughout the week. Click on the link above to find some of the top farmers' markets in each state, offering a bounty of fresh produce and local foodstuff in your area!

Before you hit the market with your basket and eco-friendly bags, here are 7 tips to note... and be sure to click the link above for details on why these tips are good to know prior to shopping!

1. Time your visit accordingly.
2. Survey the market before purchasing anything.
3. Exercise restraint, but plan to splurge.
4. Sense the {produce} season.
5. Meet the farmers!
6. Try a sample of meats before buying a haul.
7. Taste for quality.

Take note of the tips below... you just might shop a bit differently to ensure freshness of what you buy! Don't forget to click the link above for additional information on why these tips work...

1. Buy sweet corn in the morning
2. Store peaches upside down
3. Looking for a yellow spot on watermelons to check for ripeness
4. Don't store basil in the refridgerator
5. Keep cucumbers at room temperature

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