Eating With the Seasons at the East Nashville Farmers Market

 

Shopping at the East Nashville Farmers market means you will be eating with the seasons, and there’s no better way than eating fresh and seasonal. Eating produce that is in season can lower your food costs since you won’t be paying for expensive fruit shipped from Chile, for example. It will also help to eliminate environmental damage caused by shipping foods across thousands of miles and the produce tastes better! The benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables are numerous.

 

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Sometimes seasonal eating can be tough to incorporate into our meals. Many people only purchase produce that is familiar to them, whether it is in season or not. Everyone has go-to meals that they eat regularly and by learning to adjust these meals you can include new produce that is at the East Nashville Market. For a quick guide to seasonal produce, check out the Pick TN Products chart.

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There are many simple tips to try if you are struggling to eat seasonally:

  • For seasonal fruit, you can always find a new smoothie to try or just add it to some low-fat yogurt as a snack.
  • If you are looking for a new way to use vegetables try chicken or fish fajitas. Fajitas can be customized to fit any season and can be made healthy, too!
  • If spaghetti is a go-to meal of yours try adding mixed vegetables to your sauce while it simmers. A personal favorite of mine is zucchini. It’s also a great way to trick the children into getting their veggies!
  • If cooking in the winter, soup is always a good way to go. Find a basic recipe then add any vegetables from the farmers market. Soup is also great in the summer, as there are many cold soups made from tomatoes that are superb!

 

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Don’t be intimated about eating seasonally, and don’t be afraid to try something new! Our farmers can tell you not only how something is grown but also the best way to prepare it. So go ahead, eat with the seasons from the East Nashville Farmers Market!

 

 

Five Tips for Shopping at the East Nashville Farmers Market

Five Shopping Tips at the East Nashville Farmers Market

 

The East Nashville Farmers Market is a producer-only farmers market, meaning, in order to sell at our produce market you have to make it, bake it or grow it yourself. This special quality about our farmers market means that you will be eating with the seasons. Locally grown is even better at the farmers market when you are prepared! Here are five tips for shopping at the East Nashville Farmers Market:

  1. Come early! If you want a full selection of fruit and produce from our farmers get there early before things sell out. Kelly’s Berries has the widest selection of berries, but don’t expect to get there at 7pm and take any home for yourself! Our farmers’ tomatoes, squash and corn go quickly, too!DSC_0123
  1. Bring cash. Most of our farmers accept credit or debit cards, and you can DSC_0094also get “tokens” with your credit or debit card at the market information tent to spend with our vendors. Either way, cash is always appreciated!

 

 

 

  1. Get to know our farmers! The person who grows your food is the very person who can tell you how to prepare it and how to store it. Our farmers can tell you about their growing practices, when an item was picked, and when to expect your seasonal favorites, like early hoop house grown tomatoes from Delvin Farms, or beautiful sprouts and tomatoes from Bloomsbury Farm . Tavalin Tails Farm can tell you the best way to prepare their amazing all natural meats. For other meat tips, talk to Karen from Wedge Oak Farm and try Ann Lee’s all natural steak recipe from Triple L Ranch.DSC_1061
  1. Try something new. It’s always fun to experiment with a new fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried. This can be said of any product at our market- not just vegetables! Try a new juice flavor from Fountain of Juice or a new butter flavor from Wise Butter. How about a new variety of cheese you’ve never tried from Lost River Creamery ? The possibilities of trying something new are endless.DSC_0974
  1. Involve your children! What better way to teach your children where their food comes from then having them talk to the farmer who grows it? (Great way to get in some social skills, too! Throw in some money to count for that bunch of greens and you just had a math lesson). The East Nashville Farmers Market is a community event and family friendly!DSC_1059

 

How to Store Leafy Greens

You’ve shopped at the East Nashville Farmers Market and have all your leafy greens for the week. You pull out your beautiful locally grown lettuce only to discover it’s wilted and slimy! This can happen to all of your leafy greens in just hours if you do not store your greens the right way. Don’t toss them in the fridge without a plastic bag or they will wilt due to moisture loss. However, don’t seal them wet in a plastic bag without a paper towel, or they will get slimy and rot.

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Here is a simple guide on how to store your greens:

1. First, always wait until you’re ready to eat them before you wash your greens. If you wash them too early it will foster rot.

2. Once you get your greens home from the market, wrap them in a paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. It’s best to store them in the crisper.

3. If you don’t go home after the market and have left your greens in the car for a few hours, they may be wilted when you get home. You can “shock” them back to freshness by dipping them in cold ice water, or you can cut the stems as you would fresh cut flowers and place them in a container of water to refresh them, then put them in the refrigerator.

4. Containers are essential for storing your greens in the refrigerator, and there are many options:

• Plastic bags – you can use an old grocery store bag, or ziplock bags

• Plastic containers- if you are short on crisper drawer place, place greens in a plastic container with a locking lid

• Green bags, the “As Seen on TV” kind work really well and can be found in grocery stores, too!

Whatever type of container you choose, make sure you have a paper towel, newspaper or kitchen towel in them to soak up excess moisture and ward off rot and slime!

 

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And finally, for best results eat delicate lettuces within 2 days of purchasing at the farmers market. Hardier greens like romaine lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and collards can last up to a week in the fridge.

Find your favorite farmers with leafy greens at the East Nashville Farmers Market every Wednesday 3:30-7:00pm.