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Sometimes, it takes being away from my hometown farmers market for a week or two to really appreciate the turn in season.

I spent last week in Portland and visited the PSU Farmers Market, one of my favorite markets in the country. The PSU market was full of piles of porcini mushrooms, rhubarb and berries. The market vibe in Portland is like no other—a combination of completely relaxed mixed with a serious foodie vibe. I browsed through the market eating a Sol Pops paleta: cucumber, chile and lime-flavored.

20080623AdriaticFigs.jpgReturning to San Francisco this week, I noticed that our market had switched from spring into early summer. Gone are most signs of spring, replaced with an abundance of early summer fruit.

I was most excited to find figs at the market. The figs were available from Knoll Farms, a farm in Brentwood that is about 60 miles from the market.

Figs have two seasons. The first season is around now, and produces large fruit from the older branches on a tree. Then the figs take a couple month break and return in September and October with small fruit that is bursting with flavor. This first, or breba crop, has always acted as a teaser for me—getting my taste buds ready for the premium figs in early fall.

I tend to eat figs straight from the bowl, but others choose to eat them grilled, with a cured meat like prosciutto, or paired with a cheese (blue or goat cheeses go well).

It's a good time to attend a farmers market. Even if you don't purchase all your produce there, the markets will provide tons of treats for you and your family.

Seasonal Produce Guide

In season right this minute

Figs
Sierra Blueberries
Rhubarb
Apricots
Basil
Cherries
Summer squash

Coming Soon

Donut peaches
Cherry tomatoes
Corn
Okra

It's Time To Put Up

Cherries (brandied or in syrup)
Basil as pesto which can be frozen without the cheese.

About the author: Jennifer Maiser writes about locally and sustainably grown food. She is the founder and editor of the Eat Local Challenge website and writes at Life Begins at 30, her personal weblog.

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