Along with warmer weather, poolside lounging and vacations, farmers markets are a staple expectancy for the summer season in Utah. One Yelp reviewer for Utah Farm Bureau’s Murray Market said, “I think the longest wait of the year is not for Christmas, nor the weather to change into brisk autumn, but the time between when the farmers markets first burst on the scene until Murray [market] opens its tents.”
Along with the Murray market, Farm Bureau also owns and operates the South Jordan Farmers Market. Both markets boast a rich history — Murray Market is the longest-running Utah farmers market after 36 years of operation— colorful products and wonderful people.
Farm Bureau’s mission for the markets is to allow farmers direct-to-consumer sales, and to give consumers an opportunity to meet and talk to the men and women who feed them. Customers can find a variety of Utah fruits and vegetables at the markets, from peaches to peppers and from corn to spaghetti squash, along with some value-added products like breads, jams, meats and cheeses.
The markets focus solely on food, but there are also unconventional uses for your farmers market products beyond food you may never have considered. Here’s a list of some ways you can continue to use your products after eating, including fun ways to spice up their preparation potential!
After you munch all the kernels off the cobs, don’t throw them out! You can set them out in the sun to dry, and then use them for fire starters or shred them in a chipper for animal bedding. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could also use them as a one-time pot scrubber that won’t leave any marks on your pot.
Peaches are a staple late summer fruit in Utah, and are delicious no matter how they’re prepared. A particularly different — but impressive — way to prepare them is to grill them! Grilling can bring out the flavor and caramelize the fruit.
For best results, pick tender but not overly ripe fruits, halve them, brush them with a touch of oil and place them under a low gas grill or on top of a dying charcoal fire for four to five minutes per side. They can be served with ice cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon or whatever topping sounds appealing to your family!
Short on dishware? Turn your watermelon into a punch bowl! Cut off the top third of the melon, cut just enough off the bottom to create a flat surface, scoop out the insides and puree with Sprite or Seltzer, or put your own favorite punch inside.
Add watermelon ice cubes to keep your punch cold. Just cut your watermelon pieces into cubes, freeze, and enjoy.
If you’re feeling crafty but don’t have any stamps, you can do it yourself with some apples or potatoes and some cookie cutters. There are a couple different methods. First, cut your product in half, then you can either use a cookie cutter as a guide and cut a design into the flesh with a knife, or push the cookie cutter into the flesh and cut a thin layer of product off around it so the design pops out. With the first option, the shape will be defined by the paint around it. With the second option the shape will be the part that is painted.
A slice of apple can also be used to soften stored brown sugar, as the sugar will absorb the moisture from the apple.
Discover all these products and more at the Murray Farmers Market, held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Friday and Saturday from July 28 to Oct. 28. The South Jordan Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays from Aug. 5 to Oct. 28. We’ll see you there!