EATING WELL ON THE ROAD: VISITING LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS

Blackberries and Golden Raspberries at Santa Cruz Market

Here we are, at that bittersweet end of summer – I am at once both excited for the cozy trappings of fall and a little sad to see the season pass – always so quick, that summer! While it would have been ideal to share these markets before summer and all of our travels were over, let this stand instead as homage to the gorgeous season.

Mulberries at Corvallis Market
Mulberries at the Corvallis Market!

Potatoes at the Corvallis Farmers Market
I met up with Camille of Wayward Spark in Corvallis, Oregon. These new potatoes are from her mother’s stand.

I can’t really think of a better way to get a sense of the local community you’re visiting than at a farmers market. You get to meet the farmers and makers who are providing produce and goods for their community, and they’re often a colorful, passionate bunch. Like, for instance, the woman at the Whitefish, Montana market whose pottery I gushed over. You know what she said? “Yeah, that’s how I used to feel about pottery too, until I threw 10,000 bowls.” I found a beautiful, delicate black coffee mug with a hairline crack in it. “My husband loves this one, but I hate it. Take it,” she said. “You don’t even know how many bowls I break.”

Peaches at Santa Cruz Market

Rhubarb, Whitefish Montana market

You get to see what’s in season locally. In Montana, this was a little eye-opening. Rhubarb was still swinging, in August! And the brassicas were in full force: kale and chard abounded.

Huckleberry Ice Cream, Whitefish Montana market
Plus, you get to sample treats like locally made huckleberry ice cream in Montana!

Here’s how I find local farmers markets: Google! If you have a smart phone, use it! Use Google maps, or do a search. For instance: “Missoula Farmers Market.” It’s that simple.

A simple salad made with farmers market produce in Montana
Here’s a salad I made with produce from the Whitefish, Montana farmers market

If you’re traveling by car, travel with non-breakable dishes. Perhaps bring some oil and vinegar in small containers. Definitely bring some salt and pepper. Make a beautiful salad with your spoils from the market. Like the one above! It’s so easy. You can find cheeses and cured meats, too, to add depth and flavor to that salad. Doing this while traveling makes me so happy. Fresh produce can be so hard to come by on the road, so it’s a welcome treat.

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by Kimberley

show hide 12 comments

Nader Khouri - September 7, 2012 - 11:22 am

No! Summer, don’t go! I hope we have a nice Indian Summer in SF. I’d be curious to see how much these trips cost. I bet you’re able to do them pretty inexpensively.

sweet road - September 7, 2012 - 11:44 am

I love all the colors of a farmer’s market in the summer! Then again, winter produce is just as pretty… excited for that as well.

la domestique - September 7, 2012 - 7:38 pm

I completely agree with you on getting to know a place by visiting the farmers market. It’s such a pleasure to see that everyplace is different- I found the most gorgeous berries and mozzarella in a market outside Seattle (we don’t really get anything but strawberries in Colorado) and in Arkansas I had unbelievably juicy tomatoes. And visiting with the locals is just so fun too!

sarah - September 8, 2012 - 6:28 am

I love this post. I love stopping at Farmer’s Markets in new places – it’s so fun to see everything. And again, I love this series – it’s really inspired me to focus on eating healthy on the go, and plan ahead a bit.

90210 Farmgirl - September 8, 2012 - 9:17 am

Kimberley, you certainly packed a lot of adventures into your summer. I really enjoyed reading about them. Glad to be along for the delicious ride. Keep in touch! xo from 90210

thecitygourmand - September 8, 2012 - 6:51 pm

Lovely post, the produce is stunning. It’s a very simple action, purchasing from a farmer but it can make the world of difference. The middle men/supermarket chains are up to no good! I’ve written something on the farmer’s markets in Sydney if you’re ever in the hood! http://thecitygourmand.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/market-value.html

shelley - September 8, 2012 - 8:15 pm

100% agreed about Google Maps. It has taken the place where my brain used to be.
“Search nearby” – don’t leave home without it!

Good idea to Google farmer’s markets instead of restaurants for meals on the fly.
Fast food, but al fresco. DOING IT!

charlotte au chocolat - September 9, 2012 - 4:32 am

Oh, how I love farmers’ markets. Just visited such a lovely one in Paris- always fun to see the different local produce and cheeses. Beautiful photos!

Lynda - September 10, 2012 - 1:38 pm

I also love to visit farmers markets when I travel. We are so lucky here in the Bay area with what we have year round.

Elizabeth - September 12, 2012 - 7:24 am

So many gorgeous tidbits from your travels! I always feel like the farmer’s market is how you figure out the soul of a place, and you images capture that so nicely.

Jessie - September 15, 2012 - 1:05 pm

Amen! Whenever I travel to a new city, I love nothing more than to visit a local market. And I confess, I even like going to the dingy little supermarkets to browse through the grains, the pickles, the condiments, the beers….
Back to market-talk, there’s a great article in the Atlantic talking about how going to a market is not just good for you but also for the economy, you should click over if you have a second!
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/09/beyond-farmers-markets-why-local-food-belongs-on-grocery-shelves/262064/

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