Although every day is an opportunity to shop locally, next week's National Farmers Market Week puts the spotlight on farmers and the farmers' market. With events planned at markets around the country, it's a great opportunity to have a lot of fun, support local farmers and strengthen your community and the local economy. Of course, it doesn't hurt that you'll also be getting the freshest, most seasonal food available, which means your dinner just got a serious upgrade.
Before you grab your shopping bags and head to the market, you'll probably want to make a shopping list. But just what is in season? It's easy to guess peaches and blueberries, but did you also know currants and lavender are in the peak of their prime right now? Our Seasonal Food Guide easily lets you look up what food is in season where you are. With data on more than 140 fruits and veggies and all 50 states, it's your farmers' market cheat sheet, and it makes eating seasonally oh so simple.
Twenty20 / veeterzy
Wondering when ground cherries will finally be back in season so you can make that jam? We've got you covered. Not sure if purslane is still at the market? A quick search will clue you in. Visiting a new city and curious about what's available? Check the Guide.
There's a free mobile app so you can get all these answers with a simple click on your smartphone. The app even lets you send yourself a reminder for when your favorite produce item is at a farmers' market near you. Never forget the oh-too-short rhubarb season again.
Of course, then there's the question of what to do with currants, lavender and rhubarb. Luckily, the Guide links to tons of recipes, preserving techniques and serving suggestions for all your fruits and veggies, along with great tips for buying and storing. It's the perfect tool for planning menus, creating shopping lists and looking up recipes before heading to the market.
With our Seasonal Food Guide in hand, it's time to do some serious farmers' market shopping. (Find your local market on the USDA's list.) And share your favorite farmers' market photos on Instagram with the #SeasonalFoodGuide for a chance to be featured in our weekly farmers' market post.
A version of this post was published in August 2017.