Your local farmer’s market can be a beautiful place to find not only fresh fruits and vegetables but also homemade bread, preserves, pickles, and candy. Depending on the rules at your farmer’s market, you may also find vendors selling everything from handmade wooden cutting boards to beaded jewelry and tie-dyed tee shirts. With a little bit of advanced planning, you can get part of your holiday shopping done while you’re there.

5 Foods You Need to Try At The Farmer’s Market

Most people are familiar with the traditional farmer’s market produce: lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. But, if you take a little bit of extra time at the farmer’s market, you may also find foods that you haven’t tried before.

  1. Garlic scapes – Garlic scapes are the flower part of the garlic plant. It’s traditionally cut off in late spring to encourage the garlic bulb to grow larger. Garlic scapes are delicious in any dish you’d use a green onion. Just cut them off into one-inch pieces and saute them in a stir fry. Or, you can brush them with olive oil and roast them lightly in the oven.
  2. Kohlrabi – This purplish vegetable is often found in the late summer at your local farmer’s market. It’s very high in Vitamin C and fiber and can be used in place of potatoes when making a roast or stew.
  3. Jerusalem artichokes – Jerusalem artichokes are often found growing wild here in Vermont, but they can also be found at your local farmer’s market. It’s not an artichoke. Instead, it’s the root of a giant sunflower. It’s high in iron and fiber and can be boiled and mashed just like potatoes.
  4. Fennel – I’ll admit that I was late to try fennel, but I’m so glad that I did. The bottom of the fennel looks similar to celery, but the top more closely resembles fronds of a dill plant. Fennel has a slight licorice taste and is a fantastic crunchy addition to homemade coleslaw.
  5. Celeriac or Celery Root. Celery Root isn’t the root of the celery you’re used to buying at the grocery store. It’s a special variety of celery that’s grown just for the root. It’s not the most attractive vegetable but it’s quite tasty in place of celery in soups and stews.

The next time you stop to visit your local farmer’s market, look past the baskets of tomatoes and pile of zucchini and see what other types of fruits and vegetables are available. You never know, you may find your new favorite!