Ah, the sights of summer … brightly-colored beach towels (draped over the backs of my kitchen chairs), splashing in the pool (or across my kitchen floor, in the puddles left from kids racing from the pool to the bathroom), rabbits hopping across the yard (to feast on my vegetable garden), and fat-cheeked squirrels dashing along the back fence (from my peach tree, with a peach clenched firmly in their mouths). Summer is great – but it is also a bit of a challenge. The kids, towels, and wet floors are easily remedied, but as much as I love fresh summer fruits and veggies … I’m beginning to wonder if it is a losing battle to grow them myself.
For those of us without the space, time, or courage to grow our own garden, there’s an excellent alternative – farmer’s markets. With more and more demand, farmer’s markets are popping up everywhere. Fresh, local produce (often organic) grown by local farmers (who know how to keep the squirrels out of the peach trees) is a healthy way to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of summer.
Farmer’s markets are great – besides fresh produce, you’ll find baked goods, arts and crafts, spices, handmade soaps, and even live music and entertainment. You may end up coming home with all types of fruits and veggies … if you (like me) tend to go a little crazy while shopping, you may come home and take a look around and wonder, “How do I cook this?” Here are some excellent recipes for summer fruits and vegetables. Give these a try and you might find a new favorite veggie dish.
And if you do decide you want to grow your own vegetable garden, many apartment communities are beginning to offer community gardens. (These are great – not only can you get out in the sunshine and tend your square-foot garden, but you can meet other residents.) Or, if you have a patio or balcony, try growing vegetables in containers. But no matter how you decide to get your colorful fruits and vegetables, these vitamin-packed, fat-free, low calorie treats embody the sight, smell, and taste of summer, so enjoy them.