As our days of taking long walks and working in the yard come to an end, at least for now, my family and I look forward to a season of harvest. At home, we are starting to see our spring plantings emerge. What the fall doesn’t produce in our garden we look to our local farmer’s market.
I’ve made it a habit to stop and shop every Thursday. During the summer months, our son, Graham, enjoys tagging along, eager to participate in the selection process. These days, after Graham is out the door and off to school in the morning, I head solo to my favorite outdoor market.
Rockland Farmer’s Market sets up in Maine’s picturesque Harbor Park. Once my car is parked, I walk the short trail that overlooks the boats and breakwater to the semi-circle of tables and tents. I’ve been a regular at this farmer’s market for a couple of years and it’s wonderful to meet new farmers and vendors and catch up with the regulars. A couple of good friends have stands here and it’s nice to check in with them.
On my grocery list? Greens, seasonal vegetables, fresh eggs and local sausage are staples. I’m always inspired during my visits; cooking meals with local foods is something our family values deeply.
First I shop, then plan. Often what we buy at the market dictates our menu throughout the following week.
Recently, we had Sowbelly sausages on the grill with local corn and cooked Brussel sprouts (from another local farm), freshly dug potatoes from our garden and coleslaw made with local vegetables. It was one of my favorite meals all year. We have some great zucchini recipes and love to make savory zucchini pancakes and chocolate zucchini bread when it’s fresh. Apple season has begun and we’re excited to bake apple crisps and apple cake.
Just as fun is discovering something new among the dozen-plus vendors. Uproot Pie Co. — owned and operated by good friend Jess Shepard—has been plying customers with wood-fired pizzas and egg sandwiches for more than 10 years. The bialy sandwiches are delicious in the morning for breakfast—just ask Graham!
Family farm and butchery Sowbelly Butcher feeds our adventurous spirit with so many flavorful sausages (our current favorite is Mexican Style Street Corn).
Dandelion Spring Farm has beautiful seasonal vegetables every week that inspire us to get creative in the kitchen. Their recent delicata squash was heavenly!
While Graham is in school most Thursday mornings, he still loves to help plan meals based on what is in season. Right now, he’s into fresh mushrooms so we’ve tried many different varieties.
We are thankful for these markets that allow us to connect with local farmers who grow and raise the food we consume, which adds to the goodness of our meals and our appreciation for what they do.
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