If you haven’t visited a Farmers Market yet this summer, do so – by all means!  Not only do you support the farmer at the source – read “86” the middleman – you get fresh, vitamin-packed produce picked at the just the right time – not waaay before so the aforementioned middleman can get it to the supermarket, make his huge markup, and provide you with less than satisfactory produce.

Plus, they’re just plain fun.  Go early for best availability – the smart folks and the good chefs show up early – so beat ’em there! 

I visited the Pepper Place Farmers’ Market in downtown Birmingham, Alabama this weekend and oh what wonderful surprises.  Besides booth upon booth of the most beautiful produce, there were real, serious FINDS!  Like the two guys who make their own goat cheese.  These two entrepreneurs tend their goats and make a marvelous, piquant fresh cheese  – and you can get it plain, or with herbs, or rolled in pecans – FABULOUS! They also do small handy-man type repairs and I know this because right about the time you start to pop a sample of that heavenly goat cheese into your mouth, they hand you their handyman card.  Kinda hard to turn it down, since you’re eating their goat cheese and all for free.

 

Another fabulous find – Blue Corn Stone Ground Grits!  Now this may be my friend Kelly and me and our already overactive, crazed imaginations, but just the thought of a whole mess of bluish-purple grits spurred us to buy SEVERAL bags, lest this litmus test of grits lovers suddenly disappear from the face of the earth.  Look what we made as soon as we got home!

Shrimp and grits, with sweet, home-grown, fresh off the vine tomatoes and basil atop a jalapeno-cheese bread from the gifted students at Culinard (another one of my “if you havent’ been – go” places).  Heaven, simply heaven!  (and yes, that’s a glass of sweet tea by the plate – with mint from – you guessed it – the farmers’ market)

So, dear readers, grab yourself one of these little sweeties and head off to your local farmers markets post haste! 

Summer may mean sunshine, outdoors, and beach – but it also means fresh and fabulous nourishment for your body as well.

Celebrating Farmers Markets and the fresh foods of summer today!  Please, Celebrate Something Every Day – and share with a comment or two if you’d like.  We’d love to hear what you find to celebrate!

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