Some weeks are busy and the task of meal planning, writing out a shopping list, and prepping a lot of ingredients just can’t be squeezed into the daily agenda. These are the times when I create minimalist-type dishes and meals using prepared foods along side fresh, seasonal ingredients both of which I can find at the local farmers’ market. Melina’s Fresh Pasta has filled that quick meal bill many times. Their Greek ravioli with a chopped greenhouse grown tomato, a little drizzle of olive oil and a small salad made a perfect dinner meal one night. Another tomato with Fickle Creek bacon, some butter lettuce and a light spread of fresh goat cheese from Hillsborough Cheese Co. on Loaf’s polenta bread (lightly toasted) has been lunch on more than one occasion. Of course, a couple of eggs with any leftover bits of veggies and cheese make an easy, yet hearty omelet for breakfast or dinner. And on the topic of breakfast (my favorite!) take a look around your local farmers market at all the baked goods vendors. Yes, you’re fresh out of excuses for not eating well, even when time is crunched.
You’ll find a delicious treat at the farmers’ market to complement any meal and I’d love to hear how you make quick and tasty meals with your favorite farmers’ markets finds (feel free to comment below). In addition to all the great fresh produce (like lettuces, radishes, greenhouse tomatoes & green garlic) you’ll find this week, here’s what else you can expect at a few of the Triangle area markets:
- Hopefully you’ve not had your fill of spring’s favorite red berry yet, because it’s Strawberry Jamboree at Carrboro Farmers’ Market this Saturday. Celebrate strawberry season with strawberry-themed foods in the market gazebo featuring Foster’s Market of Chapel Hill. You’ll also find information about picking your own strawberries, recipes to make at home, face painting for the kids, and a special appearance by Suzy Strawberry.
- You know Locopops makes a tasty warm weather treat. But did you know you’ll find them at South Durham Farmers’ Market this week, along with their all-local Roasted Strawberry and Goat Cheese ice cream in half-pints? SDFM is the only place you’ll find that taste treat this weekend. Another prepared food vendor at the market, Slim on Soup will be sampling a chilled Sweet Pea & Tarragon soup that sounds bright & light, just right for Spring. Maia Wirth of Open Arts in Morrisville has fun, nature-themed activities and storytelling for the littlest market shoppers.
- This Saturday, the Inter Faith Food Shuttle‘s Teaching Farm’s Produce Stand open at the farm in Raleigh (at the corner of Tryon and Dover Farm Roads), 9 am to 1 pm. All proceeds from the sale of the IFFS’s organically grown produce and free range, pasture-raised eggs go to support the programs of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. And kids will enjoy a visit with Nimoy and his goat buddies right next door at the teaching farm if you want to stop by to say hello.
- The Cary Downtown Farmers’ Market extends hours until 2 pm this Saturday to coincide with the Wheels on Academy car show, which just means more time to shop for local goods! The Cultured Cow Creamery (located in South Durham) visits the market this week, offering their Red Heifer Cheddar Cheese. Spahr Farms will have their hydroponically grown lettuces, tomatoes and many more produce selections from which to choose. Annelore’s German Bakery will have savory baked goods, as well as sweeter temptations like strawberry scones and a German strawberry cake with strawberry glaze. Can I get a yum?!
Tomorrow is the big day – Tour D’Coop 2013 (and don’t miss coop #20 at The Saturday Market)! This annual event allows the chicken-curious among us to tour backyard chicken coops in the Raleigh area, with donations benefiting Urban Ministries of Wake County. For those interested in details of chicken keeping, browse the Tour D’Coop website for a lot of great resources.
We’re less than one month out from the annual Farm to Fork Picnic in Hurdle Mills (just a bit north of Hillsborough) on June 9th. The farm and restaurant pairings have been announced (all 34 of them) and tickets are still available, though they may not be for much longer! Make sure you get your tickets soon.
That’s the farmers’ market news for this week folks. Remember, you can always find hours of operation and more market info on the Triangle Localista Farmers’ Market Map and Calendar whenever you like. Be sure to check back next week, for what local markets have planned for Memorial Day weekend. As always, thanks for keeping it local!