Spring has sprung literally in the last week, here in the Methow Valley.
We’ve enjoyed the first couple of Farmers Markets held each Saturday 9am to noon. Our early spring heat wave has been kind to all the vendors and welcomed shoppers with a warm embrace.
For years I’ve been a patron to any farmers markets I can find either at home or abroad. The market can be a unique window into local communities health and its products. Market atmospheres are lively and festive. They celebrate our earth and what it can produce. Markets highlight and strengthen our ties to how and where our foods are processed and originate. Not everyone can live on a farm and learn from family traditions handed down each generation but most everyone can find a farmers market and take the opportunity to meet and learn from the farmers themselves.
Markets move with the seasons from the beginning seedlings in the early spring to the mounds of apples, spices, jams and jellies in the late summer harvest times. This seasonal reminder of what our local land provides is something that becomes forgotten in the long outer isles of the mega supermarkets. I know, I love bananas in my smoothies and pineapple too. I am not ready for a strict change but I do appreciate the fresh reminder to clean out the cob webs in my brain and love the fact that I can challenge myself to finding Saturday night’s dinner at the market.
So tempting…but no she didn’t…really.
If you would like a little help in the area of spring cleaning of the cerebral spider webs there’s an app for that! Ok, not really but if you are tech savvy and have an iPhone, sorry Blackberry and Android, you can download an App to find out what’s in season it’s called NRDC Eat Local.
Wendy Gorden of the Huffington post described the app perfectly in her blog New App Answers: What’s in Season Near You? it is worth the read.
I also adore the life lessons the market imparts to our children. They learn from example and experiencing the arts and local agricultural producers at a personal level is such a gift. Taken a little further and the market is inclusive allowing children to try their hand at their own entrepreneurial endeavors. Read my post life lessons a budding entrepreneur at the farmer’s market to learn more on this topic.
Each Market has it’s own structure and set of guidelines to help it run smoothly so check in with yours before you jump in feet first.
Market Dinner or Breakfast Challenge:
Simple Scramble with Chevre and Spring Greens
1 Tbsp oil (your choice; coconut oil gives a nice change in flavor, olive or grape seed oil or butter)
1 Tbsp chevre we used organic chevre from sunny pine farms
1 cup spring greens (washed, torn or chopped and stems removed) For a fun you could forage and use Dandelion greens! (remember to properly identify the plant, make sure it hasn’t been sprayed and pick young fresh leaves. Their bitterness will mellow and blend nicely with the eggs).
1 Tbsp chopped fresh seasonal herbs (your choice; chives, rosemary, thyme, parsley, cilantro etc)
salt and pepper to taste
A slice from a fresh baguette or rosemary bread to toast.
Each market is unique to its region and what it can offer, when in France, I love to add olives to this scramble or capers.
~Wash, tear or chop spring greens and herbs and set aside
~Pre-warm two serving bowels
~Slice bread and put in the toaster
~Crack eggs in a medium-sized bowel and beat with a fork until mixed. Then add half of your seasonal herbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
~In a preheated nonstick or cast iron saute’ pan add oil, and then the egg and herb mix. Scramble the eggs turning from the outside in. Right before eggs are fully cooked add the chevre and remove from heat. Then, divide into equal portions (or as much as you are hungry for)and place in your warmed bowel.
~Next, add a tablespoon or so of water and wilt greens in your saute’ pan turning constantly until wilted and then pour over chevre and egg scramble.
~Sprinkle with the second half of the fresh herbs.
~Add salt and pepper to taste
Find your Farmers Market!
Here in the Methow we are lucky to have a few:
Methow Valley Farmers Market Saturdays 9am to noon, April through October
Winthrop Market Sundays 10am to 2pm, Memorial Day to Labor Day
Mazama Market Wednesday afternoons, during the growing season
The folks at Local Harvest. Org make it easy to do just that. Click on the link and enter your zip code or state and they will point you in the right direction. It is a great tool to use especially if you are traveling.
Here are a few more links to help you find a market near you:
The USDA Farmers Markets, Food and Wine articles on the Worlds Best Food Markets, Open Air’s market list, and the Huffington Post Photo’s of the worlds largest farmers markets.
See you at the Market!
Rachelle @ Caramelizelife