One of the best times to visit the farmers market is in the springtime. From spring onions and wild forged ramps to the first vine-ripened tomatoes and baby asparagus, the farmers market awakens from its winter slumber to a burst of exhilarating colors and flavors.

Each week there is a new addition to the vendor tables, and when the first strawberries appear the excitement builds to a frenzy. It is hard to resist them—so sweet, so delicate, so good. It is quite a scene to watch as many people can’t resist the urge to eat them as soon as they get them in their bags.

As I walk through the market I hear the conversations between patrons and vendors. Often there is an exchange of ideas: vendors suggesting cooking techniques and patrons excitedly sharing their ideas for that night’s meal. It is an exchange that only takes place in a farmers market, the farmer and patron brought together perhaps by a bunch of garlic scapes, a bouquet of edible flowers or a handful of lacy white lion’s mane mushrooms.

The farmers market is also an outdoor learning laboratory for children, who enthusiastically pop a cherry tomato, juicy strawberry or baby cucumber slice into their mouths. They follow their parents from stand to stand, listening, touching, smelling and all the while experiencing new foods in an entirely different way. Even the pickiest of eaters can find something he or she likes.

Join the Jewish Food Experience® on Sunday, June 24 at Mosaic District’s farmers market for Behind the Booth.  Take a private walking tour through the market with Central Farm Market co-founder Debra Moser, sample fresh fruits and vegetables and hear Marcia Friedman, the author of Meatballs & Matza Balls: Recipes and Reflections from a Jewish and Italian Life, share Jewish perspectives on shopping and eating locally, plus ideas and recipes for making the most of the market’s bounty. Find more information here.

Top photo courtesy of flickr user Cliff.