Okay, it’s always a great time of year to go to the Farmers’ Market…but, y’all. THIS is a GREAT time of year to go to the Farmers’ Market.
I’ll admit; I’m actually only an occasional market goer. Let’s be real. Even the best of us can fall into food ruts–especially if funds are tight. And Farmers’ Markets can seem fleeting and ephemeral–especially if you’re not an early riser on Saturday mornings or have problems remembering what day it is…ahem, not that I’d know anything about that.
Getting to a Farmers’ Market can be a great way to reconnect with the food you put into your body, though. The food is fresh, in season, and grown by people who care. Going to the market inspires me to eat new, healthy things that I may not have thought of before. And sometimes I find GREAT deal$$$.
A SUMMER SHOPPING SUGGESTION TO WHET YOUR APPETITE:
Basil. Basil is in season right now, and a bunch will cost $1 – $2.50.
Take it home, trim the ends of the stems, and put the bunch in a jar of water. No need to refrigerate! It should last a while on your counter this way.
Add leaves to your sandwiches, smoothies, teas, salads, or noodle dishes and feel like a winner. Or! Make a simple basil pesto…
HOW TO MAKE A SIMPLE BASIL PESTO:
(You’ll need fresh basil, fresh garlic, a blender or a sharp knife, olive oil, some parmesan-esque cheese, optional walnuts, and a sense of adventure because I don’t measure this precisely)
Pinch the basil leaves from their stems – I aim for about a packed cup, but you can do with more or less.
Smash 3 cloves of garlic with the flat side of a knife for easy peeling.
Either chop up the basil and garlic really fine, or throw it into a blender with a little olive oil. (Tip: add some spinach or kale if you want extra nutrients) Add some chopped walnuts if you’re into that. Add about 1/3 cup of grated cheese and stir it all up while drizzling with olive oil. Add more of any ingredient according to your taste. You really can’t screw up too bad. It can be chunky or saucy. It will taste good.
Toss this mix onto some noodles or grill some chicken in it or spread it on a sandwich. Feed it to a friend and impress them.
CONVINCED YET? Here are MARKET DETAILS for you LOCALS (this post assumes that you live on or close to UNC’s campus.)
The Carrboro Farmer’s Market (http://www.carrborofarmersmarket.com/)
- Saturday 7:00am – 12:00pm (All year)
- Wednesday 3:00pm – 6:00pm (During the growing season, April – October)
Located at 301 W Main Street, Carrboro
Don’t have a car? On Saturdays, take the CM or CW bus from South Columbia Street and Rosemary to Carrboro Town Hall, then keep walking down W. Main Street until you’re at the Carrboro Town Commons. Check google maps’ public transit or http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=706 for route updates.
The Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market (http://www.thechapelhillfarmersmarket.com/)
- Saturday 8:00am – 12:00pm
- Tuesday 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Located at 201 SOUTH Estes Drive, Chapel Hill (Right in front of University Mall)
Don’t have a car? On Saturdays, you can take the FG bus from Carolina Coffee Shop on Franklin to University Mall. Check google maps’ public transit or http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=706 for route updates.
PRO TIPS FOR GOING TO MARKET
- Bring a bag (many vendors have them, but some may not)
- Bring cash (though many vendors accept cards, it’s just easier)
- If you’re gong to Carrboro on a Saturday, don’t bother eating breakfast. At the Carrboro Farmer’s Market, you can buy delicious pastries and coffee
- Don’t be afraid to chat! I’ve had great luck asking farmers and fellow shoppers how they prepare the various food items on sale.