Green City Garden Girl: Farm-Fresh Ideas From the Local Farmer’s Market

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KyLynn Hull is a stay-at-home mom and dabbles in many things including writing, urban farming and raising backyard chickens. She writes regularly for garden and food blog, Green City Garden Girl – Bound by the Seasons.

We live within walking distance of a year-round farmer’s market in the University District of Seattle. The greatest thing about this is we can walk, bring our dog and 2-year-old and check out the latest harvests. I love the ideas the local farmer’s market inspires in our kitchen; vegetables I would never know what to do with get a second chance after I chat with some folks at the local farmer’s market.

I remember a trip last year while visiting my brother-in-law in Portland, Oregon. He lived close to Beaverton’s farmers’ market and we took advantage of some decent spring, northwest weather and headed down to enjoy the food and music festivities. We meandered from booth after booth to stock up on our dinner for the evening: breads, cheese, salad and fruit.

Then, we stumbled upon a cooking demonstration: sautéed fava beans with onion and parsnips. I’m not around a lot of fava beans and, quite frankly, the thought of them brings me back to the horrendous Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs.” But, the demonstration made me think twice. The chef simply combined the beans with olive oil, salt and pepper and sautéed for several minutes. After a bit she added chopped parsnips and onion and cooked about 10 minutes longer. The flavor was awesome; so fresh and buttery. We bought some on the spot, along with parsnips and onion, and replicated it when we got home. 

I now embrace foreign vegetables and am pleased to say I’ve acquired a liking to sea beans, kobocha –a Japanese squash–and, well, fava beans.

Take advantage of locals you meet at the local farmer’s market. The folks who hang around local farmer’s markets can be your catalyst for encouragement. Soon, you’ll realize that nothing is off limits in the kitchen.

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