After plenty of April showers, many farmers markets are kicking off the season in May. But with a new season comes with a different rotation of fresh produce. Here’s a short guide that will help you know what fresh fruits and veggies should look, smell, or feel like.
- Asparagus: Look for firm stalks and compact tips.
- Beets: Look for fresh stems and slender taproots. Large, hairy beets may be older.
- Carrots: Look for firm and smooth carrots.
- Cherries: Look for plump and firm dark purple cherries.
- Leafy Greens: Look for firm greens that do not hold an odor. Choose the greens with the crispest leaves and avoid any that are wilted.
- Onions: Look for firm onions that feel heavy for their size. Watch out for bruising and soft spots.
- Rhubarb: Look for firm pink or red stalks.
- Strawberries: Look for bright red strawberries — and they should smell as good as they taste!
Part of the fun will be holding and studying your produce. Trust your senses! Generally, the surface of a good vegetable should be consistent and your fruit should be soft but not mushy. And the great thing about farmers markets is that you can ask questions to your local vendors.
Kids can be involved in identifying ripeness by handling the produce. They could ask vendors about where their farm is located, when they picked out the produce, and about the care required to grow our food. They could also ask about what fruits and vegetables will be available once summer hits.
If you’re itching to grab fresh produce soon, come say hello when we table at the Green City Market on May 11 and May 14! We’ll be there as part of their first-week kickoff to the start of this year’s outdoor season.