What to Shop for at the Farmers Market

The weather is warming up, which means it's finally that time of year — farmers market season. Shopping at a farmers market is the easiest way to eat locally-grown, fresh produce. And it's easy to know where the food comes from — the growers are right there and you can ask them.

But with a wide variety of options and some lesser-known fruit and vegetable varieties, the farmers market can feel pretty overwhelming at times.

Our registered dietitian, Amber Worst, has shared some advice on shopping at farmers markets, her top produce picks, and a few recipes you can easily make at home.

My favorite time of the year is farmers market season. It’s a great time to learn about the different farms around your area — use this time to get to know the farmers and ask them about growing methods.

Here in Michigan in June, you can find asparagus, leafy greens, rhubarb, peas, beans, squash, cherries, and — my favorite — strawberries.


Before you go to the farmers market, plan for what you may be looking for. If you see something new, ask about it. Talk with your local farmer and ask them about their produce. Ask about its flavor profile, how to prepare it, and maybe even a recipe they recommend.  

Ask the farmers about their growing methods. If you're concerned about pesticides and eating only organically grown produce, find a farm that only uses organic farming methods. It's OK to be selective and choose the farm and farmer that's right for you.

Now that you've gotten to know your farmers a bit better and you've picked out some produce, it's time to prepare your meal. Use what you've gathered at the farmers market to prepare some delicious and nutritious side dishes.

Try this roasted asparagus recipe:


1 lb asparagus, washed and trimmed
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


1)    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2)    Wash the asparagus. Pat dry with paper towel. Trimming the tough ends of the asparagus, remove about 1 to 1 1/2 inches from the base with a sharp knife. 
3)    In a 9x13 pan, spread stalks of asparagus out. Drizzle with the olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat. 
4)    Bake the asparagus until it's tender, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
5)    Serve immediately.

If you want to get even closer to the farm, go to a local, U-pick farm. My family and I go strawberry picking every year. It’s a fun family event that I hope my kids grow up remembering for years to come.

Strawberries taste great fresh; however, we usually pick more than we can eat. I typically wash and freeze them to be used in smoothies, taken out to be eaten plain, or even made into a yummy strawberry shortcake dessert.

Try our dessert recipe for strawberry shortcake:


4 cups strawberries
¼ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
¾ cup milk
1 ½ cups frozen whipped topping (thawed)


Wash strawberries and dry them on a paper towel. Cut off the cap and slice strawberries lengthwise into slices. In a large bowl, mix strawberries and 1/4 cup of sugar. Let set one hour.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add in the Greek yogurt to the flour mixture. The mixture may be crumbly.

Stir in milk to the mixture until dough forms. Divide dough into 6 even balls and place on an un-greased cookie sheet.

Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Just before serving, split shortcakes horizontally. Spoon strawberries and whipped cream over the bottoms. Top with shortcake and add additional strawberries and whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!

We hope these farmers market tips will help you prepare healthy meals at home this summer. At OnSite Wellness LLC, health and wellness is our specialty.

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