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Local Foods

Parks Legado Farmers Market

Photo: Sewell Family of Companies

By Emmy Ulmschneider and Debbie Roland, Master Gardeners

Previously, we talked about the many benefits of local food. So, what kinds of foods are available right now, our local early summer produce? If you were to go to a Farmers Market, what would you be bringing home?

Seasonal Produce

Greens: Greens cover a wide variety from traditional lettuces, kale, mustard, collard greens, and arugula to microgreen mixes. Some vendors have their special blends such as a salad mix or a spicy Asian mix. Since these greens are super fresh, they will keep!

Squashes: This is the start of summer squash season. Vendors offer zucchini, yellow, and pattypan squashes in your choice of sizes. Want a large zucchini to stuff or make zucchini chocolate bread or a small one to sauté? Come and pick what is right for you. Smaller pattypan squashes are perfect for grilling; larger ones are perfect for stuffing. And nothing says summer better than a sautéed mixture of onions, herbs, zucchini, and yellow squash.

Cucumbers: Whether you are looking to slice or pickle cucumbers, vendors have something for you. A fresh cucumber salad or a white gazpacho is the perfect antidote to a hot summer day. And if canning is in your wheelhouse, pickle some of those smaller cucumbers for a summer treat on a winter day.

Onions: Onions are the basis of so many dishes! Vendors offer several types from red, white, yellow, and sweet onions. So, decide what you want to make and look for that kind of onion or buy a type of onion and find a dish that suits you.

Corn: By the time you read this we will be at the end of corn season. But what you missed is some of the sweetest, best tasting corn I have ever had. And, coming from the Midwest where corn is king, I have eaten my share!

Tomatoes: Pick out your own tomatoes to fit your needs from tasty heirlooms to specific degrees of ripeness for your special family recipe.

Melons: You can’t go wrong with delicious, local old favorite such as watermelon or cantaloupe. But some vendors offer other cultivars such as casaba and they are well worth trying.

Peppers: From standard green peppers to Italian frying peppers, shishito peppers, and traditional jalapeno and Anaheim peppers, the vendors can tell you how to make the most of you purchase.

Herbs: Herbs vary throughout the season, but that will help you decide on what you want to create!

Mushrooms: Branch out from the grocery store mushrooms to discover the taste and benefits of oyster, shitake, and lion’s mane mushrooms.

Beyond Produce

Eggs: Fresh eggs! Taste and see the difference.

Cheese: Sample the best in local goat’s milk chevre and feta cheese then take home your favorite.

Baked goods: From breads to sweets, with gluten or gluten free, you can find baked goods to soothe your craving.

So, check out our local farmers markets and then come prepared to sample, buy, learn, and enjoy the best locally produced seasonal foods. We’ll see you there!

Midland Downtown Farmers Market

Parks Legado farmers Market

If you have questions, call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700. Additional information, and our blog for access to past articles, is available at Click on “Resources”.

Photo: Midland Downtown Farmers Market


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