Farmer's Market | May Edition

TEXT by Celine MacKay | PHOTOGRAPHS by Pure Green Magazine


Last month we introduced a new series dedicated to foods that are in season each month and that you might expect to find at your local farmer's market (with exception of warmer climates). We're producing this series in partnership with our favourite farmer Andrea Bemis who has shared incredible recipe suggestions, and whose interview on the PGM podcast continues to be our most downloaded episode to date! 

Also, we'd like to share a super simple DIY and best practice for keeping greens in conjunction with this post, something we learned from Jo Robinson in her incredible book Eating on the Wild Side. To keep leafy greens their best for longer, upon arriving home, immediately soak then in very COLD water, which slows down the aging process. Dry in a salad spinner or with a towel (dry is key). Now, usually I stay away from using plastic, but I allow it in this case to maintain the crispness and phytonutrients of greens. Take a heavy duty, large ziplock bag (heavy-duty so it can be washed and reused many times over), and using a pin, prick 10 to 20 holes (depending on the size of your bag) through the plastic. Use a permanent marker to write "For Greens" so you don't accidentally store something in it that might leak since the holes are really hard to see. Put your greens in the bag, squeeze out remaining air, seal and place in the crisper drawer of your fridge, which has the highest humidity.

The tiny holes provide the ideal level of humidity in the bag and enable the exchange of gases (plants continue to "inhale" oxygen and "exhale" carbon dioxide even after harvest; a buildup of CO2 kills the greens). Jo calls these "microperforated bags", and we'll do the same whenever we refer to them for storing greens or other veg.



Family: Lamiaceae

TASTING NOTES & TIDBITS: The distinct cooling sensation from eating mint comes from the essential oil methol which is found in the leaves. Make a super delicious, easy tea by packing a cup with several sprigs of mint, adding hot water and a spoonful of honey.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Contains anti-oxidant and disease-preventing phytonutrients. Helps to lower and control blood pressure and cholesterol in the body. Excellent source of potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium. Rich in many vitamins, including vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin-C and vitamin E. The leaves of mint also contain many important B-complex vitamins like folates, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6); and the herb is an excellent source of vitamin-K. Promotes good digestion and is used to soothe IBS or other stomach discomfort, as compounds in mint work to relax the intestines.

STORING & PREPPING: Fresh is superior over dried, nutritionally. Leaves should be upright, vibrant green with stiff stems. Extremely prolific and easy to care for, so planting at home is highly recommended. Once harvested (at home or at market), place upright in a jar with water, and store in the fridge. 

RECIPE SUGGESTION: Garlic Scape Pesto and Zucchini Noodles with Peas and Mint



Raphanus sativus

Family: Brassicaceae / Cruciferae

TASTING NOTES & TIDBITS: Crunchy and peppery, related to cabbage. Comes in lots of varieties and colours. The history of cultivating radish is ancient and well-documented, beginning with the ancient Chinese and Egyptians.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Very good source of vitamin C: rebuilds tissues and blood vessels, keeps bones and teeth strong, fights disease and protects from free radicals, and increases immunity of the body. Great source of folate, fiber, riboflavin, and potassium, as well as good amounts of copper, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and calcium. Natural diuretic, purifying the kidney and urinary systems and relieving inflammation. Can also regulate blood pressure, relieve congestion, and prevent respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis. They have antibacterial, antifungal, and detoxifying properties, and contain compounds that soothe rashes, dryness, and other skin disorders. Contains anti-oxididant and cancer preventing phytonutrients, particularly against prostate, colon, breast and ovarian cancers.

STORING & PREPPING: Wash and remove stems, and place in a container with a paper towel in the bottom. Store in fridge.

RECIPE SUGGESTION: Hippie Nachos with Smokey Cashew Queso Sauce



Eruca vesicaria M.

Family: Cruciferae

TASTING NOTES & TIDBITS: Earthy and peppery. Related to cabbage... who knew?! Arugula's common name is "rocket", because it literally rockets out of the ground in spring, so it is one of the first early greens to enjoy. Widely enjoyed as a foraged, wild green in Greece, Italy and France.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Contains very high concentration of anti-oxidant and anti-cancer phytonutrients (higher than other leafy greens except red lettuce) which are anti-cancer, particularly against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, and ovarian cancers. Excellent source of folates (hey pregnant mamas!) and magnesium. Fantastic source of Vitamins A, B-Complex, C, E, and K.

STORING & PREPPING: Wash and dry well. Place in a sturdy microperforated ziplock bag and store in your fridge crisper.

RECIPE SUGGESTION: Arugula Salad with Crunch Garlic Lentils and Lemon Dijon Dressing


  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Green Onions/Scallions
  • Turnips
  • Lettuce