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Why You Should be Shopping at the Farmer’s Market

Piggy backing off of Chef Jen’s post on Gardening tips; I’d like to share with you my new found love of local Farmer’s Markets. I’m not much of a gardener but I’ve found that shopping at the Farmer’s Market is the next best thing. Not only do I know that I’m buying fresh produce, but I also feel good knowing that I’m supporting my community, get advice from local farmers and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere.  

Whether shopping in the grocery store, neighborhood farmer’s market or in your own garden, it’s important to know what’s in season. Purchasing ingredients that are in season will make your meals more flavorful, and can also mean spending less on sometimes pricey fruits and vegetables. The key is to be flexible. Instead of shoveling out more for blueberries, you may want to buy strawberries because they’re on sale. Typically, items that are on sale are in season—when in doubt, do a little research.  In South Carolina this time of year, cumbers, peaches, peppers,  sweet potatoes and one of H3’s favorites— summer squash are all in-season (I love this Butternut Squash Soup healthy recipe).  Since I know what’s growing in my area, I can plan my meals accordingly.

Go a step further and look for foods that are grown locally. This cuts down on the damage caused to the environment on shipping produce, supports local family farms, and gives you and your family the opportunity to enjoy un-bruised, organic, fresh produce. The Culinary Arts Center at Hilton Head Health visits the Farmer’s Market of Bluffton every other week from 2:00-7:00 pm. If you’re in the area, stop by our tent to view a free cooking demonstration and have Chef Karla show you how to pick out ripe produce.   

Experimenting with new seasonal recipes is fun and helps you get in your servings of fruit and vegetables. The new H3 cooking school, the Culinary Arts Center (CAC), will provide a variety of culinary classes including some focusing on seasonal produce. More information and a class schedule are available on the H3 website and CAC Facebook Page.

CAC at the Farmer's Market of Bluffton

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