By: Sarah Frazier ’16, University Health Center, Dietetic Student Volunteer
Summertime is here and you know what that means…peak farmers market season! The Farmers Market at Maryland is held outside of Cole Field House every Wednesday from 11am-3pm and hosts a variety of vendors, activities, and freebies! The Farmers Market is a great place to get local, in season foods even if you live in the resident halls and are on a dining plan. Even when I lived in a resident hall, I made sure to visit the market weekly, and I was able to find creative ways to use my finds!
The best part about shopping at the farmers market is that your food travels no more than 250 miles to get here! This is very different than a regular grocery store because the average food item travels over 1,500 miles, according to the farmers market website.
Local food tastes great because it is often fresher and picked closer to its peak ripeness. By buying local, you are also reducing your carbon footprint on our planet (something we love here at the University of Maryland!).
Some foods that are in season that you may find at the market in summer include blueberries, blackberries, cantaloupe, celery, cucumbers, sweet corn, peaches, and summer squash. Apples are always available from McCleaf’s Orchards. Country Vittles from Critter Hill Farm also has a variety of naturally raised meats. Bonaparte Breads sells a variety of freshly baked breads, pastries, and desserts. You can even find pickles and cheeses at the farmers market! Here are some of my favorite (and most clever) ways to use my farmers market finds:
- Steamed Vegetables: When I lived in a residence hall, I bought a microwave steamer that I could use in the microwave on my floor. I used it to steam carrots, green beans, potatoes, and basically anything else I could find!
- Quick Snacks: Many of the foods at the market make great snacks, including apples, pears, peaches, and even melon! You can also buy peanut butter at the market for dipping.
- Smoothies: Fresh berries and the seasonal greens are great in smoothies. If you have a small blender, you can use your fruits and vegetables that you get at the farmers market to mix up a tasty smoothie!
- Hard-boiled Eggs: You can buy fresh eggs from Critter Hill Farm and if there is a kitchen in your residence hall, you can hard-boil the whole dozen and keep them in your fridge for the week. Eat them as part of your breakfast, as snacks, or even slice them up as an addition to your dinner.
- Sandwiches: With bread from Bonaparte Breads, pickles, vegetables, and even the craft goat cheeses, you can make a mouth-watering sandwich for lunch right in your room!
Want more ideas on how to use your Farmer’s Market finds? Make an appointment for a FREE Diet Analysis Appointment at the University Health Center to speak with a Nutrition Peer Educator about creating a balanced diet and eating locally.