Whole-person integrative medicine focused on healing you in mind, body and spirit. It's more than fixing what’s wrong. It’s about celebrating what’s right and making sure you’re on the path to a healthier, stronger you.
Spring is here and our local farmers have been busy in their greenhouses and fields, preparing for a productive season ahead. With the arrival of longer days and warmer weather, our cravings for sunshine and a new crop of produce can be satisfied by paying a visit to the farmers market.
Shopping at the farmers market offers a fun and friendly experience, where you can find unique items and meet new people. Farmers markets provide fresh, local and often organic produce, herbs, eggs, meat, dairy, flowers, baked goods, artisanal products and other specialty items.
Local farmers market produce is picked at its peak ripeness and is less traveled, so it is more flavorful than produce that has been sitting in a grocery store for days or weeks. One of my favorite aspects of shopping at the farmers market is that local farmers often grow unique varieties of crops you may not see in the regular grocery store. Some of these unique varieties may be more biodiverse in the nutrients they provide. For example, a bunch of rainbow carrots provides a broader spectrum of colorful antioxidant compounds in them versus your standard bunch of grocery store carrots.
At the farmers market, customers can chat with farmers about their products, learn about different types of produce, and find new recipes. While you can find many of the basics at your local farmers market, eating with the seasons may challenge and inspire the adventurous cook inside of you to find delicious ways to prepare unique items such as rhubarb, garlic scapes, kohlrabi and other unusual crops. I’ve found that staying in-tune with what is available throughout the season will give you a deep appreciation of these foods and their peak flavors and nutrition. Seasonal, local produce can often be a more affordable choice, as well.
Supporting our local farmers boosts our local economy and helps to keep our community vibrant. So next time you need to do some grocery shopping, consider heading to your local farmers market!
What’s available in Kansas City throughout the Spring?
|Baby Bok Choy||Green Garlic||Rhubarb|
|Cauliflower||Mustard Greens||Swiss Chard|
|Collard Greens||Pea shoots||Turnips|
Lisa’s Favorite Local Food Resources:
- Eat Local KC
- KC Healthy Kids
- Overland Park Farmers' Market
- Brookside Farmers Market
- Cultivate KC
- Seasonal Food Guide
If you’re looking for seasonal recipes, be sure to check out Lisa’s recipes at wholehealthinstitutekc.com.
About the Author
Lisa Markley, MS, RDN, LD, is an integrative dietitian culinary nutrition expert with nearly two decades of experience working towards improving the health of others. She is passionate about educating others how to harness the healing power of food and healthful lifestyle changes.