I haven’t been to the farmers market in weeks. Both of our boys are playing fall baseball and our Saturdays have become nothing but baseball. I miss the farmers market. I miss my sources for grass fed beef and the fresh, crisp apples that are abundant right now. You don’t know how unappealing the grocery store apples are until you buy a basket of just picked galas one week from a local farm and the next week buy a bag from the store. They are different in taste, texture and sound of the crunch.
So what’s a locavore to do when she can’t get to the farmers market, even when it’s farmers market season? Here are a few ideas.
- Find the closest road side stand. I usually only hit roadside stands when I happen to pass by one of them. But if I can’t get to the farmers market, a planned trip to a roadside stand will do the trick. NJ’s Department of Agriculture has a searchable page that helps you find roadside stands.
- If you can’t get to the farmers market, get to the farm. Some South Jersey farms have markets right on site. Off the top of my head, I can think of Springdale Farms in Cherry Hill, Duffield’s in Sewell, and Johnson’s in Medford. If you know of farms with markets near you, leave the info in the comments.
- Find a farmers market on a different day. There are a few mid-week farmers markets in South Jersey. Near me, there’s the Westmont Farmers Market that runs on Wednesdays through October. If you have a mid-week farmers market near you, tell us about it.
- Pick your own. I need to find the time to go apple picking. There are lots of U-pick farms in our region. You can find one here.
- Trade what you’ve got. If your backyard garden is still producing more than you can use, try veggie trader to find people in your area who have food they’ve grown that they are looking to trade. It’s a new site, and there may or may not be anything to trade near you, but it’s worth a shot. Or, just go up to your facebook page and let your friends know you’ve got extra produce and you’d like to trade for what they’ve got.
- Look for locally grown at the supermarket. Look for the Jersey Fresh label in the produce department. Locally grown produce in the grocery store may not be as abundant right now as it was a month ago, but there is still some there. If it’s the only food shopping you’re going to get to do this week, see what you can find.