In some ways, we've more to celebrate than ever this season as keeping the market running has been essential for so many.
For our farmers and producers who lost restaurant and wholesale accounts due to the pandemic, the market has been a reliable source of income as they share their labors with us shoppers.
For our customers, it's a small bit of normalcy in a time when normal is hard to find. We have to don our masks, and shop more quickly, but the chance to get out and immerse ourselves in the market experience is a much needed form of weekly relief.
At peak season that relief is in the form of fresh eggs from Bryant Family Farms, gladiolas from Yang Family Produce and early season apples from Ten Eyck Orchard.
While we can't celebrate with special events this season, we all get the opport...
Nothing says summer like a trailer full of sweet corn!
The Market Diet
Shopping the market during peak season is like completing your day planner for the week, just a whole lot tastier.
Saturday night is for grilling up that fresh sweet corn to make some delicious Elotes (Mexican street corn). Sunday morning you're all booked up making blueberry pancakes with those fresh JenEhr Family Farm blueberries.
Moving down the market aisle, you start to settle things out for later in the week. Fresh fennel from Happy Valley Farm (pictured) will go great in the salad course for Monday's dinner, perhaps tossed with some fresh lettuce, red onion and a squeeze of orange.
The weekday mornings will be a breeze with a dozen fresh eggs from Dreamfarm, ready for easy fried egg sandwiches on Madison Sourdough country loaf bread with a slice of Smoked Chipotle Havarti from Forgotten Valley Cheese.
Wednesday nights are for celebrating your mid-week success and back to the grill you head to se...
Tart Cherries from Green's Pleasant Springs Orchard
Adjusting to life amidst these COVID days has taken a toll on all of us in one form or the other. From missing our families and friends to missing our favorite summer activities, we've had to give up much at the moment.
In the absence of what's missing, it's the small acts of kindness, caring and creativity that have been pulling us through.
It's neighbors running errands for those who can't get out of the house. It's the people who find ways to make fun summer activities for kids that are still safe. It's the care package sent to the friend you won't see until this is all over.
We see it at the market, as the extra loaf of Stella's Bakery artisan bread is grabbed for a neighbor, alongside some fresh oyster mushrooms from the Fungi Farmers.
Whether you'd like to recognize someone whose generosity has touched you or you're looking to send your love off via care package, the market is a great place to fin...
The middle of July can be a challenging time for market lovers, but in the best way possible. It marks the time of year where there is simply too much wonderful food rolling in to take advantage of it all in one week.
Fresh blueberries scream out to not only be eaten like candy, but also cooked up into a jam, pie or tasty syrup. Which one to choose?
The arrival of summer squash, like these pictured from Emerald Meadows Family Farm, and zucchini fill our heads with zoodle (zucchini-noodle) dishes, fresh zucchini fritters or grilled summer squash.
Hot peppers are just beginning, offering us the option to spice up a stir-fry or take a crack at making our own hot sauce.
It's enough to make our heads spin in a kaleidoscope of garden flavors and colors.
Urban Gourmet is making it easy for you this week by offering Pesto Boxes for pre-order (by 9am Thursday). Blend them together with some walnuts or pine nuts, parmesan cheese or...
Black Earth Valley brought in their first tomatoes of 2020 last weekend
No Masking Our Joy
Throughout the struggles of 2020, we've held tightly onto the belief that no matter what restrictive measures we must take to make it happen safely, providing access to the farm fresh food is essential.
Ten weeks into the 2020 season we can all say things aren't quite normal, but that desire for good food is as strong as it ever was.
The first weekend in July brought us more of that joy in the form of the first blueberries from Flyte Family Farms. They were as tasty as ever, and reminded us that regardless of the hardships this year has put our way, little wonders like fresh blueberries can't be diminished. We look forward to more blueberries this week from Flyte's as well as JenEhr Family Farm.
The summer adventures are limited this year as well, but for many of us that has opened up new kitchen adventures to explore and find comfort in. Fresh corn & spinach tortillas (pictured) from To...
Celebrate the 4th with Star Cut-Out Cookies from Chris & Lori's Bakehouse
Sweet Summer Days
The fanfare for the July 4th weekend is usually something we love to ramp up for each summer. With big fireworks displays, music events, and large cookouts to celebrate, it's a seasonal favorite to enjoy.
While 2020 has different plans for the holiday weekend, we can still enjoy, albeit on a more subdued level.
The neighborhood cookout may be on hold until 2021, but plenty of households will gather round the grill to eat up a tasty burger made from Highland Spring Farm ground beef or one of those delicious ParKelm Farm brats. For you cheese lovers out there, don't forget the great selection of cheddars for that burger from Farmer Johns' Cheese.
The fireworks may not be bursting through the air, but the first raspberries of the season from Sai's Garden (pictured) are bursting with great flavor. Speaking of flavor, we've been thankful to see many more fresh herbs coming in to brighten...
We've turned the page down at market from the spring chapter into the lush tale of summer.
The seasonal market story is a picture book for us all to enjoy. Full page illustrations of fresh kale from Natalie's Garden and Greenhouse (pictured) to delight your eyes and the dinner plate.
The summer characters are vibrant and deliciously engaging too. There's sugar snap pea mountain, found at the Yang Family Produce booth. It's always ready to please with that perfect blend of sweet and crisp.
The sweetheart of the early summer story, the strawberry, is making its way around the market this time of year as well, though with its popularity, we recommend coming early if you wish to catch this character.
This weekend our story will feature a mystery knight, the illusive fresh duck from Bryant Family Farms, appearing in whole bird, leg quarters, bone-in breasts and wings.
And what tale would be complete without a beauty, ours is the...
Early June is always a great time down at the market as we see the arrival of many early summer favorites.
This past weekend we were treated to the first strawberries of the season, in from Flyte Family Farm and Emerald Meadows Family Farm.
Peas also made their year debut, with sugar snap peas over at Shoua Vang's booth and fresh snow peas and shell peas from Don's Produce.
Garlic scapes were another tasty new addition this weekend, such as those pictured here from Ka Vang Thao. Scapes, the flowering shoots of garlic, are great in stir-fries or blended up for a spicy pesto.
Early season broccoli from JenEhr Family Farm was one more bonus this past weekend, and we hear there's more to come this Saturday too.
While it was a week of many firsts, it was also the last week Kopke's Greenhouse will be joining us for the 2020 season. We'll miss them and their great array of plants and look forward to seeing them...
Butterkase, Smoked Butterkase & Muenster
cheeses from Forgotten Valley Cheese
No Slowing Summer Down
The phrase "make hay while the sun shines" couldn't have been more true this week for several of our farmers, as the first cutting of the season took place with the nice warm summer weather we've been experiencing. Check out this video from Dreamfarm to see the process in action.
The pressing need to get the work done is felt by many right now, maybe more so than ever. Whether it's the yard overhaul you've waited all winter to start or the fundraiser you're organizing to help your neighbors, we have to jump at the project when the timing is right.
When you're talking farmers' markets, we know this is always the case. If you're looking to make up a batch of pickled asparagus, you have to get on it when it's ripe and ready from produce vendors such as Black Earth Valley and Yang Family Produce. It will be the case in the next few weeks, as we see strawberries start coming into...
New burrito size tortillas from Tortillas Los Angeles
Resetting the Table
For this week we're pressing pause on our normal narrative describing the great things to find at market. On a typical week we'd elaborate on all the amazing things market brings to the table. This week though, our reflections have altered.
We're asking ourselves: Is there a seat at the table for everyone? How about enough food? Equal portions? The expressions of pain and anger we've seen this last week over the deeply rooted racial injustices in this country answer those questions for us. The table is not serving the same meal for all eaters.
Acknowledging that can be uncomfortable for us as it means we must accept that reality isn't matching up to our ideals as Americans. It's crucial that we do experience that discomfort though. We can't fix the table without accepting the fact that it's been set wrong.
That's where we start with our efforts to be better. We acknowledge what's wrong and next we open our eyes, ear...