Fall Flavors (AKA pumpkin everything).
Fall is finally here (as of September 22 to be exact) and as the temperatures cool (if they ever do… hello Atlanta), it is a perfect time to head to your local farmers market with your family and friends.
Shopping at local farmers markets is a great way to support the local community, eat seasonally grown food, and add some variety to your weekly meals. Most of the food you find at local farmers markets is inherently organic and pesticide free, even if they haven’t paid to go through the certification process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! We encourage you to get to know your local farmers and develop a relationship directly with the source. One of our fabulous interns from Georgia State, who lives in South Atlanta, wanted to share some pointers with you if you live South of the City!
Don’t live in Georgia or is it tough to get to South Atlanta? No worries! Download the American Farmers Market app for iPhone or Android. This app allows you to discover local farmers markets across the United States. Who knew organic, local, and farm-fresh food was so close within reach. This is a great tool while traveling too! [if you don’t live close- scroll to the end of this blog for delicious fall recipes]
Farmers Markets in South Atlanta
The Metro Atlanta Urban Farm is a nonprofit organization off of Main Street in College Park, GA. Their vision is to “build strong and healthy communities through sustainable agriculture.” To the dedicated people that work here “Agriculture is Transformative…” Their 5-acre urban farm grows seasonal produce without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, or genetically modified organisms. In addition to their commitment to sustainable affordable agriculture, they donate their produce to local farmers and host gardening classes for different groups and senior citizens. For more information on the Metro Atlanta Urban Farm, please visit their website at http://themetroatlantaurbanfarm.com/.
The Georgia State Farmers Market, also known as the Atlanta Market, is one of the largest of its kind. With 150 acres in Forest Park, GA for years this farmers market has been home to many types of produce. Even though this market now serves more like a distribution center, there are still some retailers selling specialties like honey, jams, and Latin American products. This market also has a 26,000 sq ft event hall, a garden, and a welcome center. This market is managed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and houses a USDA federal-state office. For more information on the Atlanta Farmers Market, please visit their website at http://agr.georgia.gov/atlanta-farmers-market.aspx.
Nam Dae Mun is a different type of farmers market. What it lacks in space or scenery, it makes up for in diversity. This market in Morrow, Ga (and other North Atlanta locations) is home to various types of produce and food products both native and not native to the Atlanta area. Because this market primarily serves the surrounding Asian and Latino communities, you can find items such as rice noodles, udon noodles, Chinese eggplant, shitake mushrooms, dragonfruit, and jackfruit with ease. Other international produce items include chayote, platanos, guava, mangos, and fresh brown and green coconuts. The meat and seafood department also provide pre-marinated items such as the meat for tacos al pastor, chorizo, and fajita meat. So if you are looking to expand your palette and try something new, this market is the place to visit. For more information about Nam Dae Mun and its locations, please visit their website at http://ndmmarket.com/home/.
What’s fall fun without corn mazes and pumpkin patches?
Well, that’s what you will find at Southern Belle Farm in Mcdonough, GA. It’s a family-owned business that has been operating for five generations. Every season there are new activities for the community to the participate in. For fall, these activities include hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin picking, pig races, and corn cannons. In addition to their seasonal activities, they have a small market where they sell their produce and homemade ice cream. As a part of their eco-tourism, you can purchase a gallon bucket and go pick whatever produce is in season. In the summer, this includes peaches, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Right now, muscadine season is underway! For more information about Southern Belle Farm fall activities, visit their website at http://www.southernbellefarm.com/fall/.
Produce is power.
Purchasing from local community groups and businesses helps to ensure that we continue sustainable agricultural practices as we leap into a new season. So if you find yourself feeling heavy after that pumpkin chai latte (with or without the Cinnabon), switch it up and see what treasures your local farmers markets hold for you. One of our favorite date night ideas is to go to your local farmers market, find a produce you have never cooked with, and experiment with a new recipe together!
STAT Wellness’ Fall Recipe
Quinoa & Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette: Simple, Fresh, and Seasonal!
2 cups tricolor quinoa
1 brunch purple kale
2 cups cubed butternut squash
2/3 cup pecan pieces
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Boil 4 cups of water and cook quinoa as directed. Toss butternut squash in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 30 min. Toast the pecan pieces in the oven (watch closely- done in 5-10 minutes). Clean and cut purple kale and place in a large serving bowl. Once the quinoa is cooked, pour it on top of the kale while it’s still warm to help soften it. Whisk the maple syrup, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and spices in a bowl. Add the butternut squash and nuts to the salad and mix in the dressing. Yum!