Well, spring is definitely here and with spring, comes the rain but also the farmers markets. Local farmers markets are great for fresh vegetables, fruits and local fare that helps support the local economy. Here in Lincoln, Nebraska, we have several different market options to choose from, starting Thursday through Sunday, so there is a lot of choices to go around.
Eating fresh foods is important for your overall nutritional health and eating local varieties of fruits and vegetables allows your body to become familiar with local allergens, which may help reduce allergy symptoms. An example would be like eating locally sourced honey can help reduce your allergy symptoms by allowing your body to become sensitized to local pollen.
We love shopping at the local farmers markets because the availability of produce and hand made items is great and you almost always feel better getting out and meeting interesting people in our great town. Here are a few tips that I follow when going to the market that have made my trips easier and more enjoyable.
1. Arrive early. With the popular markets here in Lincoln, getting to the market early allows you to get the lay of the land and see what prices may be better around the market. You also get the chance to have the best variety and selection of produce and items that are for sell. As they say, “the early bird does often get the worm.”
2. Talk with farmers and vendors. Talking with the farmers and vendors give you the chance to learn how the produce is grown and to see if they have any friendly advice on how to prepare it. Ask if they have a website or Facebook page with recipes for the different produce they are selling. There are a lot of plants for sale this time of year, so ask about the plants you may be buying and how to grow them. Take a chance, talk with the farmer and become more educated on what you are eating and where it comes from.
3. Do your homework. Find out what time and days the markets are on and research what types of produce is in season. We have four or five different farmers markets here in Lincoln and the surrounding communities and each one is slightly different. By doing your homework, you can be in and out with your weekly haul and be creating some wonderful meals with your fresh produce.
4. Try something new. Go out on a limb and try something new that you may not have seen before. Vendors may have samples out for people to sample and take advantage of these samples. The different growing seasons mean that there will be different veggies and fruits in season through the spring, summer and into fall, so get out there and try a new veggies while it is at the peak of its growing season.
5. Make a plan. Making a plan may be the most important thing you do. I bet everyone has bought produce and had every good intention of using it in a week but life gets in the way and it goes bad. By making a plan and having ideas on what you can use the produce for, you don’t buy too much and it doesn’t go to waste.
Hopefully these tips are helpful and you can make the most of the wonderful farmers markets we have in the Lincoln, Nebraska area. We care not only about your muscles and joints but also about your nutrition. At Fletcher Chiropractic, we care about you and want you to be well, eat well and move well.