Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Farmers Market suggestions

I love farmers markets.  There's one in town that I really love that has some of the best radishes, lettuce and green onions.  Even though we have to drive a little further to get there, I don't mind because it feels like a good community market with people I want to support.

I tend to buy the same things at farmers markets though we did get some grass fed beef patties this last time and I'm looking to maybe buy bison next go round.  Anyone had it?  It's the same thing as buffalo to a degree, right?  Because I made buffalo burgers 10 years ago and it stunk up the house for 3 days.  Is that normal?

So I'm looking for suggestions.  What do you guys usually buy at farmers markets?  I want to buy some stuff outside of my "box" so to speak.

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29 comments:

  1. You made me curious, so I had to look it up. Check out: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Bison_vs_Buffalo

    for info on the technical differences between bison and buffalo. (seems folks incorrectly call American Bison "buffalo"). I thought the two words were interchangable but I'm WRONG.

    Nerdiness aside, I'd say ask the farmer you buy the bison from, they should be able to recommend cooking/handling.

    My big splurge at the farmers markets is the grass fed beef and chicken. I want to get a rabbit but it freaks out my wife (rabbit is pretty tasty but I don't like to cook so. . .)

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    1. Thanks for the link! There IS a difference! :) That makes sense now when they told us the bison was "grass fed with a light hay finish!" We thought they were joking trying to compare it to a fine wine or something! HA!

      I had rabbit as a kid...never again but by all means, enjoy! :)

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  2. I thought buffalo and bison were the same thing... either way, I've had both, and it's super tasty! We usuallu just grill it with all the usual fixins. I try to buy "weird or unusual" fruits and veggies, somehting I've never had. Enjoy!

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    1. Me too! I haven't found anything too weird at the market yet but if I do, I'm all over it!

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    2. Our market has ostrich. That's weird to me.

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  3. Bison is really good. I get the local made goat cheese. I also get the things I can't typically find in the stores....black rice, heirloom purple tomatos, fresh flowers (yeah, not edible, but pretty!), Kale always seems to be better when bought at the farmers market. Any local fruit in season, becuase it's so reasonable! HUGE portabello mushrooms, again, local. Ummmm...home made pickles, pickled watermelon rind, homemeade soup and oatmeal mixes. I could go on and on.

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    1. Dang man, you've got some awesome things at your local markets! I don't think I've seen half of these things at ours!

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  4. I'll get fresh baby spinach, blueberries, zuchini, tomatoes, and any other fresh fruit/veggies that look good. Depends on what is in season. I'll also often pick up some fresh bread and locally made cheeses. And my last stop is at the local butcher for some free range eggs, grass fed ground beef, traditionally made sausages, and if it looks good and I feel like splurging, local lamb.

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    1. I need to try lamb. I think I might've had it once but it wasn't prepared correctly. I'd like to think I'd do it justice.

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  5. I get everything locally- at a farmer's market or through local CSA's. Eggplants, zucchini, cabbage, peaches. Our CSA gives us a half bushel of assorted vegetables, so I have been pushed to make things outside the box, so the food doesn't go to waste. It's been great trying new things :)

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    1. Lots of people love the co-op delivery boxes they get and how it kind of forces them to use what they get. I guess I'm a control freak, I like to pick and choose what I'm going to try.

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  6. I always get whatever veggies are available. I love making medleys of eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes to go with my meats at dinner. I add some basil from my garden or some local dill cheddar cheese and it always makes me smile! So easy. So enjoyable. I think it's awesome you can get grass fed beef!

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    1. I want to like eggplant so bad but my one experience with it wasn't a good one. I should probably give it another try. It's so pretty! Yes, I'm happy we can get local grass fed beef too. :)

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  7. Lately my favorite FM items are beets and beans. I LOOOOOOOOOOVE beets with a passion. It's weird really. I could probably eat them every day. Since I didn't opt for a CSA this year I've also been missing my weekly bean load. So, I've been picking those up at the FMs lately as well.

    There's not much better than a fresh roasted beet.

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  8. We have friends who raise cattle and pigs so we buy all of our meat from them. FM items are usually corn, fruits and local honey for me.

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  9. Purple potatoes! I love finding these at our farmer's market--they are so pretty and fun. Beyond that, I just buy what looks tasty. Everything's so cheap...if we don't like it, it's no big loss.

    I read in one of the comments that you're a control freak, but our co-op has forced me to enjoy some veggies that I never would have tried otherwise. I'm with you on the eggplant though; unless it's fried I just don't like it. And I don't really need to be eating fried veggies. :)

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  10. I friggin' love Bison! It is sooo good, but make sure not to overcook it or it will get tough! I always get fresh, raw peanuts from our farmer's markets so I can make boiled peanuts :/

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  11. Funny you write this because I'm actually looking for a farmer's market by my home. We don't have ANY in town (ridiculous), but I 've heard there is one up in Beloit,WI about 20 minutes from me. that's supposed to be very nice. I'll be reading the posts here to see what people suggest, too! =o)

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  12. Lots o' bison in Montana. One of the comments is correct, technically they're bison in America, buffalo are in Africa. Anyway, I see it both ways, even in MT. Wierd that it stunk up your house...never had that happen to me. I've made stews, ground bison noodle dishes, indian tacos....all with bison. It's a great alternative to beef because its lower fat and I think has a good taste too. I'm not huge on 'game meat' (I really dislike deer) but bison is awesome. Give it another shot.

    I've been getting a lot of my produce through a local co-op this year so haven't been purchasing much at the market. I love the flowers and that's where I got my tomato plant which is doing great. I love to get their herbs...I want to get a bunch of basil and try and make pesto this year. Yum-o! Good luck!

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  13. This is an area that I am severely lacking in as I have never, yep, NEVER been to one. *hides look of shame* And we even have one in town every Saturday that my sister says is pretty good. She loves to buy the hummus and pita chips from what I remember.

    This is definitely on my list of something I need to do someday. :-)

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  14. I LOVE bison/buffalo! I think the meat is so much more flavorful than beef & is very low in fat. Anyhow, my summer farm market picks (in Ohio) are: sweet corn, beets, green beans, yukon gold & red potatoes, asparagus, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, peaches (especially Red Haven), nectarines, cantaloupe, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries... Some are over for this year, but I'll buy almost anything!

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  15. I've alwys tried to buy something 'new' each time I go = I tried kale for the first time at a farmers market ( and love it!) The produce is always so fresh and inviting - never tried bison, highly unlikely I will.
    I always buy fresh berries, honey, all veggies and once in a while grass fed beef.

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  16. My favorites are onions, asparagus, potatoes, specialty breads, radishes, zuchini, summer squash...The list could go on and on! We don't buy our meat there, as we get our beef and pork from family farms.

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  17. We were gifted some bison a few months ago from a client of my husbands. I loved it! I made bison burgers with it and they were s yummy! It did not have a terrible smell and honestly I prefer it over beef.

    We hit our local farmers market, here in Alaska, today. I bought a bunch of carrots, a bag full of spinach, a huge zucchini, and some rhubarb.

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  18. My sister is right, I haven't been in a long time, but there used to be these guys with THE most amazing hummus and pita chips. Our market is more market than farmer, but good finds if you look.

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  19. I really like bison, and don't know why it made your house stink. I don't buy it very often because it's terribly expensive here, but when I do splurge I enjoy it.

    We don't have a farmers' market here. We're too close to the farms (weird but true). What we do have are farm stands were each farm sells their own produce. Kinda neat if you're a tourist and some of them have some unique items, but nothing like the farmers' markets I've see in the city visiting my folks. The stuff at the farm stands is no cheaper than in the store and often is lower quality. Again, weird but true. I think they sell their best produce to the grocery stores. It seems like living in an agricultural center we'd have better options. The only exception is green chiles and melons. Those I can get at Safeway too, but they're better (although not cheaper) from the farm stands.

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  20. I love both my FM and my CSA. No bison available at our FM, though they do have one stall that sells beef, pork, chicken, eggs and really yummy cheese.

    This year I am experimenting with things that come in pods - fresh peas (soo different from the frozen ones, season might be done already), fresh fava beans (a bit of work to shell and blanch but yummy - they tasted a bit like Edamame), fresh edamame (or soybeans).

    I tried cardoon last year and am not sure that I liked it, even though I love artichokes.

    Ari

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  21. Last week I bought 2 HUGE bunches of basil at the market, then I headed over to the italian store they have in there and got really good olive oil, parm cheese, romano cheese and pignoli. I went home and made my favorite - pesto sauce. I was able to make three batches and I freeze them in 1 cup portions. This way I can thaw 1 at a time and put it in a jar in the fridge to use over the next couple weeks.

    My favorite fruit to get there is blueberries and I make homemade jam from them. I guess I just really try and get all my veggies for the week at mine, along with fresh herbs. I'm very grateful that the bakery and "deli" section are both in the same wing of the market and I can just avoid that wing.

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  22. My favorites to buy at the local market are zucchini squash (the ones grown in my county are HUGE for some reason...I remember the ones I grew turned out like that too!), fresh peaches, and strawberries. Our FM here doesn't sell meat, but boy, I wish they did! Of course, I know there are places nearby where you can buy things like - an entire SIDE of a grass-fed cow. Yep. The entire side! My FIL bought one and put his freezer to very good use.

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