With Memorial Day just around the corner, we can’t help but think about gardening, flip-flops, beach trips … and cookouts, of course! Along with your typical barbecue fare, we’ll be tossing some seasonal, organic vegetables on thegrill this weekend. Our local farmers’ markets are open for the season and we couldn’t be happier. Bring on the fresh produce!
The Portland Farmers’ Market, one of Maine’s most popular, is now famous on a national scale. Recently named one of America’s 10 best by Travel + Leisure magazine, this market has hosted local farmers for 242 years. Over 30 vendors gather twice a week to set up their tables with organic crops that are scooped up by restaurateurs and foodies alike. Some of the highlights include heirloom and hydroponic vegetables, seedlings, locally produced honey and fresh goat cheese. Or, if you’re in the mood for something unusual, Travel + Leisure suggests the lacto-fermented foods from Thirty Acre Farm, made without sugar or vinegar. Try the red cabbage sauerkraut, kimchi (pickled cabbage), dill pickles, or gingered carrots for a unique treat.
Not only is local produce delicious, but by supporting organic farmers, you’re helping to protect the environment. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) is committed to helping farmers grow organic crops and protect natural resources. The oldest and largest state organization in the country, MOFGA is continually working to raise awareness of organic practices and to demonstrate the long-term benefits of sustainable agriculture. You can view MOFGA’s website to find out more about the great work they are doing.
If you’re interested in learning more about Maine farms and to find out where there is a farmers’ market near you, check out www.getrealmaine.com. You can search for farms by location, or if you’re looking for a hard-to-find item, you can even search by product type.
Where do you go for fresh veggies? Feel free to share your favorite farmer’s market – and happy eating!