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Tuesday afternoon I bought my ﬁrst-ever bulb of green garlic from the Siena Farms stand at my local farmers’ market. It cut like a leek, tasted like a chive, and it enhanced the ﬂavors of my millet mushroom medley so beautifully that I had to go back to the Farmers’ Market for more this morning.
With spring in full-bloom and market stands opening everywhere, now is the time to get your ﬁll of the freshest fruits and vegetables and, at almost all markets, your whole grains too! You might be able to ﬁnd whole grains grown in your own state, or bags of ﬂour that have been locally milled for fresh, at-home baking. Bakeries are joining in, too, opening up stands with whole-grain breads and pastries to chew on while you peruse the market, or to buy for your upcoming week’s supply.
So this morning I set out determined to ﬁnd whole grains. What greeted me ﬁrst was a mountain of oval ﬂatbreads, preening baguettes and bags of fresh croutons at Iggy’s Bakery stand. Iggy’s wholegrain sourdough and rolled oats leapt into my shopping bag in an instant! A few moments later, alongside my garlic greens, I spotted a small refrigerator with all kinds of prepared whips and soups and whole-grain salads. I bought the Quinoa Black Bean Salad from a local bakery Sofra (run by WGC culinary advisor Ana Sortun) for an extra special lunch – just delectable!
Farmers’ markets are also the perfect spot to ﬁnd plenty of delicious whole-grain accompaniments. They are always home to a plethora of freshly jarred jams and marmalades, tapenades and bean spreads, just waiting to be schmeared. If I could urge everyone to do one thing this spring and summer, it would be to ﬁnd a nearby locale and get out there to enjoy one of the most beautiful grocery (and community) experiences one can ﬁnd – the Farmers’ Market. And, when you’re there, keep on the lookout for a booth of fresh whole grains!
To inspire you even more, here are just a few cool whole-grain highlights of some farmers’ markets across the country (and the globe!):
• The Phoenixville Farmers’ Market in PA oﬀers locally milled wheat ﬂour from The Mill at Anselma, as well as freshly prepped whole grain breads, rolls and granola from Sweetwater Baking Co.
• Farmers’ Market shoppers in Oakton, VA area sure are lucky: Moutoux Orchard, one of the few farms that produces locally grown and milled ﬂour in the region, will be selling its rare array of local grains at the Oakton Farmers’ Market this summer and fall. Their ﬂour and grains including fresh wheat ﬂour, spelt, rye, barley, buckwheat and oats truly set them apart.
• At the Cape Breton Farmers’ Market in Sydney, Australia, Dr. Michael Milburn hosted a day of Grain-Grinding demos on May 21st. A few days later, on the 26th, Dr. Milburn gave a Breadmaking Basics class in the Farmers Market kitchen!
• The Bread Alone Bakery, which has three locations in NY, delivers their whole-grain artisan loaves to farmers’ markets all over the Hudson Valley and NYC. In years past, their organic sour rye with caraway seeds has been the talk of the market!
• Massa Organics is having its FM debut at Sacramento’s Farmers Market this year. They cover several bases, oﬀering brown rice, whole wheat ﬂour, wheat berries and almond butter for coating.
• And, ﬁnally, Cake and Spoon delivers handmade pastries to the patrons at Austin, TX’s farmers’ markets each weekend this summer. King Arthur Flour is their main squeeze, but they use local stone ground cornmeal from Richardson Farms and a mill in Converse, TX for their scones and olive oil cake. Will they deliver to 2000 miles away?!?
Now, I wonder what delicious, fresh whole grains you’ll ﬁnd at your local farmers’ markets. Any farmers near you selling grains or ﬂour they’ve grown themselves? Or whole grain baked goods? If you discover some gems, please let us know – leave your comments below!
Happy eating! (Sarah)