Texas Living

Reap a Bountiful Harvest at the Market

By M. Elise Giller 11.10.15

The fall season brings more than stunning crimson leaves and crisp weather. It also ushers in a new bounty of produce to enjoy. Don’t start cooking just yet. The fun can start before you even reach the kitchen! Check out your local farmers market to find the freshest, most local produce around and to interact with your community. Though you’ll likely come away with something delicious on every trip, here are a few tips to make the most of it.

  1. Talk to the farmers. They can tell you which produce is the freshest as well as what’s the sweetest, best item they have at the moment.
  2. Walk the whole market first. This lets you compare prices and see the type of produce at each stand, allowing you time to figure out your game plan.
  3. Maximize freshness. Look for seasonal fruits and veggies first: Find fruit like apples, pears, and figs as well as persimmons and pomegranates as we get closer to winter. Root vegetables like beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips also flourish in fall. Their sweeter relatives, winter squash and pumpkins, also start to make an appearance, as do greens like kale, Swiss chard, and even Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
  4. Bring reusable bags. You’ll want something sturdy for comfortably carrying your bounty. If you’re buying a lot of produce, meat, or frozen items, bring a cooler and leave it in the car.
  5. Pay with cash. Most stands accept credit cards now, but a few are still old school. Make sure to bring small bills too, in case they don’t have much change.

Keep your produce fresh with these storage tips.