Some local restaurants are starting to open back up, and I’m looking forward to returning. In the meantime, I would be remiss if I failed to devote some attention to home cooking in this series, since we’re all doing more of that these days.

Fresh vegetables are coming in now at local farms, and that’s really important. Here are some that I patronize myself. Of course, part of the fun in cooking is playing with nice kitchen toys, so we’ll conclude with a visit to my favorite equipment shop.

All the vendors at Greensboro Farmers Market are recommended. Go to the website (gsofarmersmarket.org/drive-thru-market) to peruse offerings, order, pay in advance, and schedule pickup at the current location, currently operating out of Revolution Mill (1601 Yanceville Street). The market is open Wednesday, 8-10 a.m., and Saturday, 8-11 a.m. If your last name begins with A-K, you will pickup between 8 and 9; the L-Z schedule is 9-10. Place a sign with your name on the passenger side of the dashboard, along with the name of the vendor(s) from whom you ordered.

I am providing individual websites below, but all these vendors can be accessed from links on the Farmers Market website above.

Anders Family Farm (andersfamilyfarms.com) grows lettuces and other leafy greens in hydroponic facilities. When I checked, Buttercrunch Bibb, Green Leaf, Green and Red Romaine lettuces, in addition to arugula, were all available.

Get local, fresh eggs from Birch Fork Farm (mimisoaps.com/birch-fork-farm), Massey Creek Farm (masseycreekfarms.square.site), and Cornerstone Garlic Farm (cornerstonegarlicfarm.square.site) in addition to other artisan products they make. Look at their websites for current offerings.

Crouse Farm and Mindenhill Farms (mindenhillfarms.com) provide pickup at several locations. Offerings include lots of flowers, plus arugula, asparagus, broccoli and broccoli shoots, cabbage, collards, kale, mixed lettuces, mustard greens, radishes, sweet potatoes, turnip greens, and tomatoes.

Farlow Farm (farlowfarm.com) lists pea shoots, micro greens, spring onions, broccoli, lettuces, Swiss chard, cucumbers, and several specialty greens.

Mighty Tendril Farm (mightytendril.com) was showing carrots, rainbow chard, and similar vegetables available over the weekend, plus other vegetables that had sold out at that time but will be available again later in the summer.

Smith Farms (smithfarmsgibsonville.square.site) has strawberries, squash, broccoli, collards, zucchini, and cauliflower, in addition to flowers and potted plants. This farm has been in operation on the same land by the same family for three generations. More vegetables will be available soon.

Sugar Hill Produce (sugarhillproduce.com/shop) will deliver to most locations within the YES! Weekly distribution area. Get on the farms’ subscription list to keep up with current offerings. A recent email advised that turnips, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, bok choi, lettuce, beets, carrots, kale, chard, herbs, snap peas, and strawberries will be coming in for the next couple of weeks.

You can get Fresh Seafood from the North Carolina coast from Smith Century Farms (smith-century-farmsn-c-fresh-seafood.square.site).

Sharp Farm (emsharpe17.wixsite.com/sharpefarm/shop-products) has broccoli for sale. You will be surprised and delighted at the flavors of really fresh mushrooms from Haw River Mushrooms (app.barn2door.com/e/QqZ65/all). They offer several different varieties.

Of course, you have to have the right tools (toys?) in order to enjoy cooking and really do it right. My favorite place for kitchen equipment is The Extra Ingredient in Friendly Shopping Center (336-299-9767). The shop is open for in person perusing Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with limited access to ensure distancing. Knock if the door is locked. Masking is required. Online orders can also be placed from the website (extraingredient.com). Free shipping is provided for orders over $49. Definitely sign up to get their emails. Take a look at their recipe box, even if you don’t need equipment. I’ve made several of these and can provide a testimonial to their validity. They also provide tips for grilling and other handy techniques in their mailings.

Of course, if you’re not in the mood to cook or just need a break from home, access my previous recommendations for takeout at issuu.com/yesweekly

John Batchelor has been writing about eating and drinking since 1981. Over a thousand of his articles have been published. He is also author of two travel/cookbooks: Chefs of the Coast: Restaurants and Recipes from the North Carolina Coast, and Chefs of the Mountains: Restaurants and Recipes from Western North Carolina. Contact him at john.e.batchelor@gmail.com or see his blog, johnbatchelordiningandtravel.blogspot.com.

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