Summer has its own place in the cycle of seasons on this planet. It is a time of expansion and increased energy. It is a time to grow, have adventures, take risks, and learn new things. In nature, the summer's energetic expansion is readily apparent. Berries have popped out on the bushes, fireflies are flashing at full force, and, in the gardens and the forests, beautiful bounties have appeared, ready for the taking. There are so many wonderful ways to expand your life in the summertime. One of the best ways is to head to a local farmer’s market to take advantage of all that nature offers.
There are so many benefits to going to farmers markets in season. One take-home gift is the special feeling of connection that you get from buying fresh food, straight from the farmer. You know where it came from and are financially supporting your neighbor. And, the environmental benefits of buying food locally are not to be ignored. When we buy an apple from a foreign country, that apple had to travel halfway around the world to us, wrapped in packaging, and refrigerated constantly. That process uses a great amount of resources, and that takes a toll on our planet.
Heading out to your local farmers markets will not only help mother earth, but it will also help you spend more time in the great outdoors and encourage you to expand your food horizons. If I had never gone to a farmer’s market, I would have never known how to make pesto out of garlic scapes. I would have never tried lavender jelly. And, I would not know the amazingly sweet juiciness of a ripe peach in season.
The lower Hudson Valley is wealthy with local produce during the summer season. Here are three local farmers markets for you to check out, while you can!
1) Peekskill Farmers Market. A fun, busy market. What I love about the Peekskill market is that I can combine it with other errands in Peekskill, or stop by the Peekskill Coffee House for an iced coffee afterwards. The market runs until November 19, every Saturday from 8:30 to 2. It is located on downtown Bank Street. Included in the market are fruits and vegetables, breads and baked goods, granola and nuts, soaps, dairy, honey, and more.
2) Muscoot Farmers Market. This quaint market is great for a family outing. When you are done with the market, spread a blanket and take a load off on the lawn while you have a snack and listen to some live music. Or, you can visit Muscoot’s farm animals, gardens, or take a hike on their trails. The Muscoot Farmers Market runs from May 8 to Oct 30, every Sunday from 10 to 3. It is located on Route 100 in Somers, about a mile south of the Rt. 35/Rt. 100 intersection. You can find local dairy, pickles, fruits, vegetables, herbs, wine, meats and breads.
3) Croton-on-Hudson Farmers Market. The Croton Farmers Market runs from June 1 to November 23rd on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 6:30. It is located at the Municipal Lot, across the street from 1 Municipal Place. You can find baked goods, produce, cheese, flowers, meat, fish, vegetables, and wine.
Summer is the time to take a dare and try something new. Have fun taking part in this seasonal expansion by enjoying the gifts of summertime!