We are so fortunate to have an awesome weekly farmer’s market right down the road from our home. I have romantic notions of going every Saturday morning with the family, my canvas shopping totes in hand, and greeting my favorite vendors by name. In reality, I go a few times a year and I may have been known to make a beeline for the homemade donut truck and then be on my way. We all have our weaknesses.

With the arrival of spring motivating me, I want to make an effort to shop the market more often. The idea of supporting local farmers is very appealing, not to mention the fresh factor. However, the frugal side of me still wants good deals. Wherever you’re buying your produce, buying in season is always a good idea. The taste is better and prices are lower. I decided to do a little research to see what is in season in Tennessee in early spring. It turns out…..not as much as I would’ve thought. Things don’t really get kicking until May. Here’s what we have for April according to the Tennessee Seasonality Calendar:

  • Collard Greens
    • I’m ashamed to say that I’m born and bred in the south and I’ve never attempted to prepare collard greens. I need to start simple and assume Paula probably knows a thing or two about this southern staple, so I’ll give her recipe a try.
  • Herbs (in-season year round)
    • Herbs are a bit intimidating for me and I tend to stick with the same ones. This book has good reviews and may come in handy for broadening my pallet.
  • Honey
    • I use this every day in my green tea. Definitely something good to buy local for those pesky allergies!
  • Mushrooms (in season year round)
    • We eat mushrooms several times a week. They are great whole with butter and cooking sherry as an easy side, or as a filler in vegetarian meals.
  • Turnip Greens (also in season year round)
    • Yet another southern veggie that I know nothing about #ashamed. Southern Living to the rescue!

Other items that I would love to add to my weekly market list would be organic whole milk, pasture-raised eggs, and organic meat. I don’t mind spending a little more on these things if I know they’re good quality. It’s important to talk to vendors to learn what their standards are for raising their animals.

What are your farmer’s market go-tos??

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