I will make up any excuse to visit a farmers market. I could be on vacation, where I'm staying in a hotel and have absolutely no way to cook anything, but I'll still manage to find the nearest market and oogle at the local, fresh ingredients, even if I can't buy a thing.
Almost every Saturday, I make my way to this particular market, the Morningside Farmers Market. It's so close to my house, so there's no excuse not to support local farms.
There are only a handful of vendors, which some might see as a detriment. I actually love that this market is so compact. Rather than having to shop around and compare vendors, I know that each stall I go to will have something I need [or in many cases, want but not necessarily have a use for- I almost always overbuy at these sorts of things].
The first stall I head to is always located on the far end of the market [the one on the right corner if you're facing the street]. I actually couldn't find the name of their farm anywhere and neglected to ask [but I will update with this information once I head back there next week].
The man who works at this particular stall is also the farmer, so he's incredibly knowledgeable about all his produce. Not only does he know everything inside out, he can also tell you really innovative ways in which to cook said vegetable, tell you what fish it pairs well with, or give you simple techniques to prep it. He completely sold me on some white turnips because he sautés them in butter and maple syrup and then pairs that with a nice, buttery white fish like chilean sea bass. I've never had that flavor combination before, but he had my mouth watering by the end of his sentence. His confidence and passion for the produce is so evident, it's no wonder his stall is always the busiest. I purchase 75% of what I need just from him because of this, but I still do like to support the other farmers.
The loot I amassed last week included: pea shoots, dandelion greens, butter leaf lettuce, white turnips, jewel beets, and quite possibly the largest zucchini I've ever had the pleasure of purchasing [the photo does this guy no justice- it was a MONSTER]. I also grabbed a sizable rib eye steak, which I promptly grilled over Memorial Day weekend [though I left the grill semi-unattended by a friend and slightly charred it- still tasty because the meat is that good]. I always purchase my meat from Riverview Farms, because they consistently have the best tasting steaks I can find in Atlanta. Since trying grass fed meats, I've always preferred them over the alternative.
We also tried Riverview Farms' stoneground grits. There's nothing like a hearty grained grit served up with Georgia wild-caught shrimp. It's beyond all comprehension of deliciousness [a perfectly acceptable use of this word!].
I didn't get to do as much cooking with all of the ingredients as I'd have liked, so my Mom is getting most of the fruits [or vegetables] of my labor. But it just gives me another great excuse to head back to the market next week.