I’m not a fan of winter. At all. Ever. I’ve tried. Growing up in Wisconsin and then starting the college years at UMD, you’d think it’d eventually click. Nope. Then I thought having kids would help me to embrace winter more, but no again. In fact, my oldest is not a fan of the cold either. There are a few beautiful winter days, don’t get me wrong. The first big snow, the lights that go up around the neighborhood and shine through the snowflakes, building a snowman – it’s great….for a week. But, winter does bring spring, and spring means: Farmer’s Market Season. My favorite time of the year. It combines my love for the outdoors and my obsession with food. There’s something so wonderful and relaxing about shopping for your food outside in the sunshine. Then there are the smells! Earthy, sweet, fresh. It’s just perfection.
We try to take our kiddos to the farmers’ market every Saturday morning. We grab a coffee at a market stand, there’s always some type of funky live music playing, and wander around. Somedays, the only thing we buy is coffee. Somedays, we go home with enough produce for the week. It’s a really easy adventure to have without too much stress, and it’s relatively inexpensive. It’s also a good way to open up the dialogue with your kids about fresh foods, farms, and the importance of vegetables in your diet. Let them pick out a few items that look interesting and then help make something with it all when you get home. It’s also fun for the kids to talk to the vendors about where the food comes from. Another bonus: I think the vendors really like talking to you about their product. It’s a super enjoyable, hands-on learning experience for everyone sometimes!
Below are a few of my favorite vendors – do you have one? What do they carry? I’d love to hear about it!
Shepherd’s Way Farms (The dill goat cheese curds!) – http://www.shepherdswayfarms.com/
Chef Shack (Mini donuts. ‘Nough said) – http://www.chefshackranch.com/
Ames Farm (Deeelicious honey. Save the bees!) – http://www.amesfarm.com/
Sevald Nursery (The most beautiful peonies I’ve ever seen) – http://millcityfarmersmarket.org/vendors/sevald-nursery/
Black Cat Natural Foods (Delicious breakfast food) – http://www.blackcatnaturalfoods.com/
Artisan MN (Kraut. So many flavors) – http://www.artisanmn.com/
Uproot Farm (Awesome tomatoes) – http://uprootfarm.com/
Dehn’s Garden (Herbs and more herbs) – http://www.dehnsgarden.com/
St. Croix Chocolate Co. (Chocolate. Gotta have a little sweet, right?!) – http://www.stcroixchocolateco.com/
Also, here’s a really simple recipe you can make using all ingredients from the farmer’s market.
My Market Scramble (serves 4)
1/4 + 2 Tblsp milk (or dairy substitute)
1/2 cup chopped asparagus
1/4 cup diced zucchini
1/4 cup diced yellow squash
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Saute all the vegetables together with 1 Tblsp (or more to your liking) butter over medium-low heat until they begin to soften slightly. While the vegetables are cooking, whisk together the eggs and milk. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and continue cooking on low until the eggs are scrambled/cooked through. Toss in the goat cheese crumbles at the end and heat for about a minute. Serve with salt & pepper, and a slice of your favorite artisan bread with some fresh jelly. Enjoy!