Farmer’s Market Guide to March
by Carlynn Woolsey
People buying fresh vegetables at farmer's market

Eating seasonally connects us with the seasons and the weather, through filling our bodies with the food Mother Nature intended for us. When our grocery stores and local markets stock nearly every fruit and veggie under the sun year-round though, it can be hard to determine which picks are at the peak of ripe perfection. So what’s a babe to do? Follow these monthly guides to learn what’s in, what’s out, and what flowers are blooming too.

March is here, and spring is right around the corner. With it, both the landscape outside and the produce at the market get a bit greener. Artichokes, asparagus, peas, and leafy lettuces are new arrivals, while cabbages, carrots, and bulbs of fennel are at their peak. Cherimoya, sunchokes, and winter squash [such as acorn and butternut varieties] will be on their way out soon, so be sure to get your fill before it’s too late! Pick up a bouquet of lilies or tulips to display, or a bunch of sweet-smelling magnolia to weave a floral crown with.

 

The LIST:

 

The veggies are plentiful.

artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, chard, collard greens, fava beans, fennel, green garlic, kale, kohlrabi, lettuces, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, spring onions, sunchokes, turnips and winter squash.

 

The fruit is mostly tropical.

avocados, citrus, cherimoyas, mangoes, pineapples and strawberries.

 

The blooms are colorful.

calla lilies, daffodils, freesia, hyacinths, hydrangeas, lisianthus, magnolias, orchids, protea, ranunculus, roses, sweet peas and tulips.

 

Picks, Tips and Tricks!

 

  • Asparagus are top-notch right now!

Look for bundles that have stalks of equal thickness, to ensure that they’ll cook evenly. If you plan to wait a day or two to prepare them, place the asparagus in a glass jar with an inch of water in it and store in the refrigerator.

 

  • Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by making colcannon.

A traditional Irish side dish that combines in season ingredients like potatoes, leeks and cabbage. When buying your cabbage, choose heads that are compact and firm. To get the most health benefits, avoid packaged pre-shredded varieties, because once cut, cabbage begins to lose its vitamin C content.

 

  • Are you on the hunt for a birthday bouquet?

Pick up a bundle of daffodils, the official flower of March. These springy yellow blooms are said to symbolize friendship, respect and faithfulness, making them an even more appropriate choice for one of your bests.

 

  • Flower power.

Hydrangeas require a lot of water and can be prone to wilting. Bummer. For the best shot at longevity, select hydrangeas that have their petals fully open with a deeply developed color. Think: vibrant!

 

The thing to remember about this month is that we’re transitioning to a new way of being. The market picks, like the weather conditions, tend to be a mixed bag with a little bit of winter and a little bit of spring.

Armed with this list you can embrace both, and “march” into the stalls – and your kitchens – with seasonal know-how!

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Carlynn Woolsey

Carlynn is a Freelance Writer and Photographer, and the voice behind the blog, JJBegonia. She grew up in the restaurant industry, has traveled the world in search of the best culinary experiences, and loves all things food-related from shopping for it, to eating it! Her work has been featured on people.com, BuzzFeed Food and The Huffington Post.

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