You've been invited to someone's home for a 4th of July BBQ but you don't know if they'll be serving local/organic foods or not. My advice? Don't worry about it. Judging the food at someone's home where you've been invited is rude. Still, you can contribute to the party's sustainability by making sure your contribution is helping your local farmer and helping the earth at the same time by bringing something from the farmers market.

Here are 8 ideas that are quick, easy and won't take more than 10 minutes.

  1. Volunteer to bring the corn on the cob. You don't need to clean it first; they'll be plenty of hands at the party to help you with that while you sit around and chat.
  2. Pick up a pie made with local, seasonal fruit at the bakery stand at the market.
  3. Grab a block of local cheese, slice it up, and add some crackers.
  4. Bring a large bowl of whatever fruit is in season — strawberries, raspberries, blueberries ... or mix them all together.
  5. Grab some ripe tomatoes and basil from the produce stand, some mozzarella from the cheese vendor and make a classic caprese salad.
  6. Make a big salad of mixed, seasonal greens and tomatoes.
  7. Buy a large watermelon and cut it into wedges. Kids at the party will love it.
  8. Make a quick, fresh salsa — takes about 10 minutes to chop the vegetables and throw it together, but do it a few hours before the party to give the flavors time to mingle. Don’t forget to take some chips for dipping.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

8 easy farmers market foods to bring to a BBQ
Quick and easy ideas for keeping your part of the 4th of July celebration local.