august at the farmers' market.

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Summer produce is my favorite kind of excess. I always end up buying more than I meant to, tickled by the sight of white eggplants, lemon cucumbers, donut peaches, bubblegum plums, cipollini onions, lemon balm, pattypan squashes, golden raspberries. How could I resist? I never can. The eggplants will become silky when sauteed into pasta sauce, the lemon balm will brighten my iced tea, the plums will get eaten at outdoor picnics and office lunches. I'm looking forward to many tasty dinners this week.

I've found it easier to avoid producing trash at the farmers' market than at the grocery store. There are no produce stickers, twist ties, or hang tags to contend with. For produce that comes in bags or boxes, I transfer it to my own cotton produce bags and return the original container to the farmstand for reuse. During farmers' market season I'm able to support local farms, eat a huge variety of produce including heirlooms unknown to larger grocery store chains, and send almost no food packaging to the landfill. A boon all around.