It’s getting hot out there, and you know what that means: some local greenmarkets are nearly done for the season. Or they will be heading indoors.
Your final chance to get organic, fresh local produce, meats, breads, cheeses, pickles, pasta, honey, spices and sweets isn’t over and done. Markets in Wellington and West Palm Beach are finished, but Palm Beach Gardens has one more Sunday of outdoor operation (May 3) before heading indoors. You have two more chances to visit Delray Beach’s market (May 2 and May 9). Fort Pierce and The Acreage offer markets year-round.
If you plan to go summertime marketing, it’s a good idea to go early:
- It gets very hot very fast. If you’ve ever wondered when the sno-cone, ice pop and smoothie vendors do their best work, you’ll find out at a summer market.
- Parking in the shade is often at a premium. If you get there early, you get the coolest possible spot.
- Going early means there’s still plenty of day left to do other things, like take the food you bought to a picnic in the park on on the beach.
- Vendors have time early in the day to talk and exchange ideas. No one is too hot and exhausted yet.
- You get the best and the freshest food first thing, before it’s been handled and picked over.
- When you arrive early, you have the opportunity to watch vendors set up their booths, and appreciate how hard they work. It gives new meaning to the phrase “weekend warriors.” So many of them work the markets in addition to full-time jobs in other professions, or make the market an extension of their already full-time food business. It’s not a hobby, or a game, or something done just for fun or to pass the time. They love the hard work, but it is hard work and your patronage of anything grown and created locally is appreciated.
Think less time at the stove and more time sitting down with salads and fresh fruit. Or grilling vegetables instead of steaming or sautéing them. Make use of all those fresh herbs from the market (start your own herb garden with market plants) in iced tea, marinades and salad dressings. Try out some new vegetables, like rainbow beets and carrots, roasted on a sheet pan on the grill or wrapped in foil, with olive oil, salt and pepper. Buy several different varieties of potatoes, and grill or foil-roast them. Make extra, let them cool and turn the leftover potatoes into either classic American or German potato salad for another meal.
It’s good to live in a place where you can still get your greenmarket on and find plenty of food for easy summertime eating.