Say hello to your farmer!

by Karen Simons

At Mobius Fields in Katonah, farmer Deb Taft is carefully harvesting produce whose flavors, fragrances, textures, color and nutritional benefit are at their peak. She is thinking of her farmers’ market customers while she harvests and looks forward to sharing her efforts. Saturday, at the market, you’ll find her quietly sitting behind her table, ready and willing to discuss the bountiful crops—how she grew them, how to store them, how to use them. 

At farm markets everywhere, local farmers love to talk to you about the products they are selling. Some farmers will speak to you as soon as you approach their stand, others like Deb, wait for you to ask the questions.

Next time you’re at the farm market take the time to chat with the person behind the table.

Not sure how to start?

Here are some quick tips:

  1. Ask what’s in season, and what’s coming up next. This is a great way to learn more about food seasonality and culture.  Farmers will tell you it’s best to tear up the shopping list and prepare meals made with fresh in-season ingredients. 
  2. See something you don’t recognize? Take the leap, ask what it is, how to store and prepare it. You’ll find some hidden treasures and expand your palate. 
  3. Learn about growing practices. If you want to eat foods raised without chemicals, ask farmers how the food is grown.  Not all farmers are certified organic but may have growing methods that meet or exceed organic certification standards.
  4. Get to know YOUR farmers. If you have time and are feeling chatty (and the farmers are not rushing to help customers) ask how is the growing season going?  How did you get into farming? Where are you located? Can I visit the farm?
  5. Give FEEDback! If you enjoy the food, make sure to go back and tell the farmer you purchased it from. Your positive feedback can help farmers decide what to grow in the future and if you’re lucky, you’ll reap the benefits next growing season!

There are lots of farm stands and farm markets to attend. Click here for our Northern Westchester/Lower Putnam map!