Buy A Rainbow
By Meadow Scott
It’s spring, and the farmers market is sporting green in every possible shade. The deep, dark green of winter’s stalwart kale and chard has slowly given way to a glowing light green of lettuce, arugula, and mustards. Spring is about new life unfolding, and in vegetable form that means leaves, leaves and more leaves.
All those greens are perfectly captivating. It’s hard to walk away from the market with fewer than three different kinds in your basket. And certainly, as the season of cleansing and renewal, spring is a great time to eat lots of chlorophyl. But don’t forget to stock up on some other colors as well because, for most people, all green does not a dinner make.
We are lucky, here in Eugene. The Willamette Valley’s benign climate, combined with a vibrant food culture make for a uniquely well-rounded farmer’s market. With careful shopping you can get nearly all your groceries straight from the farmers who grew them. Grains, beans, meat, fish, cheese, nuts, honey, and of course lots of fruits and vegetables. Not to mention the wonderful artisan foods— sauerkraut, salsa, pasta sauce, roasted peppers, dried fruit, bread and cake.
So in addition to a few bunches of those dazzling spring greens, make sure to get some browns, oranges, whites and reds. Buy a rainbow. Remembering to shop for something from every food group at the Farmers Market helps lessen the need for trips to the grocery store later in the week.
Even better, if you stock your kitchen with a variety of delicious local foods, then when dinner time comes along cooking a balanced and satisfying meal will be easy and you can flex to the vagaries of spring. Sunny, busy day? How about a quick green salad with goat cheese, roasted peppers and hazelnuts, and thick slices of fresh bread on the side. Cold, rainy day? Perhaps a steaming bowl of slow-cooker beans, barley, squash and collards. No matter what kind of day it is, a rainbow on the dinner table is always welcome.
Spring Farmers Market Checklist
Tired of coming home to find all you got at the Farmer’s Market was five different kinds of leafy greens? Before you walk away from the tents, check your basket. Did you get something from each color category?