Farmers’ market fresh is always better

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some items that can be found at the Suffolk Farmers's Market are strawberry preserves, above, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and more.

Fresh, in-season vegetables are available everywhere this time of year. Grocery stores, roadside stands and farmers’ markets alike are full of nature’s bounty.

When I was a kid, vegetables were the dreaded part of the meal. I distinctly remember sitting at the table being forced to sit there until my veggies — cold and even more disgusting by that point — were consumed.

Now, I troll the grocery stores’ produce sections and visit farmers’ markets when I can. I try to cram the most vegetables I can into my daily diet, and local ones always seem to taste better.

Farmers’ markets in Suffolk offer more than just fresh, locally-produced food. They offer the chance to meet those who are raising your food; an easy, delicious way to be more environmentally-friendly; and a great place to catch up with what’s going on in town.


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I am trying to find new ways to consume more fruits and vegetables. I use spinach and green peppers when I make scrambled eggs. Salads for dinner end up with spinach, broccoli, zucchini and tomatoes, among other vegetables. I almost run out of room for the rest of the salad sometimes.

I have started adding blueberries to my cereal in the morning. Fruit has even become a snack. A slice of watermelon or a bowl of strawberries definitely hits the spot during this summer heat — and they are a healthier way to satisfy my craving for sweets.

As with many of my fellow Americans, my weight has fluctuated over the years. Right now I am at my lightest in many years and I owe that, in part, to my increased intake of fruits and vegetables. Previously, I would go days without a vegetable or piece of fruit in sight, unless you count ketchup I dipped my fries in as a vegetable. I think the grease outweighs any positive in there.

Farmers’ markets are good for the community as well, I think. I am new to Suffolk and see stopping by the market as hitting two birds with one stone. I get to pick up local, fresh produce and get to know some more people in and around Suffolk. It also helps out local farmers by giving them a centralized location to sell their wares every week.

The July/August edition of Suffolk Living is on stands now, and it gives a peek into the farm-fresh fare available at the Suffolk Farmers’ Market every week. Regular vendors Robert Noriega and Cami Barnes of JC3 Family Farms also share their favorite recipes for the produce they have been selling recently.

Check out the local farmers’ markets in Suffolk:

  • The Suffolk Farmers’ Market is open through Nov. 17 on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m., Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Suffolk Visitor Center Pavilion, 524 N. Main St. For more information, call 514-4130.
  • The Harbour View Community Farmers’ Market is held from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. The market is held near the corner of Hampton Roads Parkway and Harbour View Boulevard. Russell’s Seafood offers fresh seafood, Batten Bay Farms offers organic vegetables and Broken Arrows Farm offers grass-fed beef and all-natural chickens.

And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the latest edition of Suffolk Living magazine, available for free at various locations around the city. If you can’t find one, call us at 539-3437 or drop by the office. We’ll help you get your hands on a fresh copy.