Farmers Markets in some areas are open year round while others are just opening for the start of their season. The fresh variety of delicious fruit and vegetables that are in season in the Spring is amazing.
When traveling in your RV search out these open air produce markets and plan to get there early to select the freshest and best of the best. Ask the vendors how best to store the product and for recipes or cooking suggestions.
Why bother with local Farmers Market produce? The answer is simple… it tastes better! The fruits and vegetables have been picked when they are ripe and travel shorter distances from farm to table enhancing their quality.
What to look for when selecting your produce. Vegetables should be firm and crisp, colorful. Avoid produce that have wrinkled skin, withered leaves, bruising or decay. Fruits should smell sweet!
- Apples: Select firm apples with deep even coloring that have a natural shine and heavy for their size.
- Bananas: Bright yellow unbruised bananas for eating right away.Select slightly green if you plan to let them ripen. Bananas ripen quickly when in a warm room or exposed to sunlight.
- Blueberries: Firm blue skin (not green or red). A white sheen is normal.
- Cantaloupe: Should smell fragrant, and have a creamy looking color and slight soft spot at the end opposite the stem.
- Cherries: Select cherries that are plump, dark in color, unbruised, firm and shiny. If stem are attached they last longer.
- Figs: Avoid dry, cracked figs. Look for plump fruit that are intact.
- Grapefruit: Should feel firm, slightly springy, smooth thin skin and heavy for their size.
- Grapes: Avoid grapes with brown spots. Select those firmly attached to their stems, are firm, plump and unwrinkled.
- Kiwi: Should give slightly to pressure. Avoid rock hard or mushy kiwi.
- Lemons/Limes: Citrus should have a pleasant fragrance, bright color and heavy weight for their size.
- Mango: Select mangos that have less green and a fragrant smell by the stem. The fruit should slight give when pressed.
- Mandarin Orange: Firm citrus with smooth peel.
- Oranges: Feel the weight of the fruit and select the heavier ones with smooth skin.
- Peaches: Choose fragrant deeply orange colored firm fruit that gives slightly to pressure.
- Pears: Look for unbruised fruit. Ripen at room temperature. For quicker ripening place in a brown paper bag.
- Persimmons: Look for deep orange to red. Fuyu types should be firm but not rock hard, Hachiya types should be slightly soft and squishy or kept at room temperature to ripen. Dark sun spots are fine, but avoid dark spots that are sunken.
- Pineapple: Pineapple it should be slightly heavy for its size and smell sweet at the stem. Leaves should look fresh.
- Plums: Deep color, naturally shiny and firm but not rock hard. Grey or white sheen is normal.
- Pomegranate: Heavier fruit for the size is best. Cracks are a sign of plump seeds, but avoid if mold in the cracks.
- Quince: Select fruit that is firm and golden in color.
- Strawberries: Bright red fruit, healthy stems. Consider organic as the soft skins absorb the sprays used for pests.
- Watermelon: A yellow spot where the melon rested as it matured is good.