As the seasons change, so does the food. We’re moving out of winter, and with the warmer weather comes new fresh findings to feast on at our farmers market. We’ve sprung our clocks forward this weekend (yawn) and now we’re springing forward to show you what will be coming up this season at the market. New crops, like rhubarb, leeks, eggs and the ever-popular basil are back in season and just about ready for consumption.
I went around to the different farmers to see what crops they’ll have in next two weeks and beyond. Some of the up and coming produce is brand new, others are crops we’ve been seeing, but they’ll be in full abundance and at the peak of their pick. I’ve categorized each item to help you find your favorite springtime fruit or vegetable faster.
*Note: Items marked with an asterisk (*) indicate availability at the market right now, but in limited quantities. They will become more abundant as the seasons change.
Spring Hill Cheese is still offering up all the classics and favorites, but keep an eye out for “the egg guy!”
- Eggs: : The highly anticipated egg seller, Dan Lammers, will be back with plenty of fresh eggs to take home. The wait is almost over!
Springtime means flowers. Check out all of the new blooms that will soon be available to take home and liven up your favorite room:
- *Freesias: Their strong and very pleasant scent can substitute for air freshener in your home.
- *Daisies: Perhaps the happiest flower of them all.
- *Lilies: Just in time for wedding season.
- Sweet peas: A favorite of flower seller Clemente Venegas.
- Passionflower: This flower is responsible for the passionfruit.
- Hibiscus: The ultimate sign of spring!
- Sunpatiens: A Japanese flower available in bright, bold colors, like magenta and red.
- Erysimum: A perennial shrub that flowers.
- Sunflowers: The easiest way to brighten up a room.
We’re not quite to berry, cherry and melon season yet, but springtime will bring some new fruit to the market.
- *Strawberries: You think they’re good now? This crop is almost at its peak, so look out for bigger and sweeter berries.
- *Tomatoes: They’re present now, but get ready for a lot more of the lycopene-rich fruit as our weather turns warmer.
- Fragoo Strawberries: Matt Fink sells the Fragoo variety of seeds, so you can grow your own strawberries!
- Tomato starts: Varieties like white and green zebra will be sold for your own vegetable gardens.
Matt Fink, over at Casa Blanca Nursery, has enough new herbs and ornamentals to keep you busy for weeks. Springtime for Fink means lots of basil (yay!) as well as exotic flowers and unheard of herbs. Here’s what Fink will be selling for you all in the upcoming weeks:
- *Cilantro: A great add-in to freshly made salsa from market tomatoes.
- *Arugula: Make a pesto out of it like Billy Gilchriest from Tartine.
- *Chives: Chop and sprinkle over your Easter deviled eggs.
- Lovage: An Eastern European herb, similar to a lettuce.
- Borage: An edible blue flower, also Eastern European.
- Saltwort: An herb from Japan that looks like a green bean and is spicy.
- Basil: Fink will be selling eight different kinds of everyone’s favorite herb. Look out for flavors like lemon and lime.
- Parsley: Can literally be used on any dish for flavor boost and color.
- Orange thyme: Yup, thyme with an orange flavor and scent.
- Arat: A white root, which Fink describes as a “parsley carrot.”
- Black Pearl Pepper: This guy is both an ornamental and edible.
As a general rule of thumb, a healthy adult should be eating, on average, three cups of vegetables daily. (Psst! Click here to find out how many servings of fruit and veggies you should be consuming based on age, sex and activity level.) We are told vegetables are more important to our health than fruit, so here’s a list of new veggies from the market to incorporate into your diet:
- *Carrots: Spring is often still cool enough to crank up the oven in the house. Roast carrots at 400 degrees for a caramelized and hearty side dish.
- *English peas: Warm up on a rainy spring day with a shepherd’s pie chock full of these peas.
- *Sugar Snap Peas: Serve these raw to your kids for a snack, like local Corrie LeClair.
- *Green beans: Green is the color of spring, so watch out for lots more of green vegetables, including green beans.
- Fava beans: Steam or roast them for a snack.
- Japanese cucumbers: Don’t have to be peeled or seeded.
- Squash: Move over pumpkins, it’s time for zucchini.
- Leeks: Pull out your grill early and cook these sliced green guys for a spring side dish.
- Golden beets: These orange beets make a nice complement on a plate to their brother, the purple beet.
- Chioggia beets: These beets are striped white and pink and make for one very eye-catching display.
- Romensco: This dinosaur-looking vegetable is a cross between cauliflower and broccoli.
- Rhubarb: This purple veggie is often paired with strawberries for the ultimate pie.