Did you know that it’s National Farmers Market Week? Thomas Vilsack, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, has declared Aug. 1-7 the week of local, fresh, healthy food with a very official proclamation (PDF).

Many green LA girl readers are already farmers market devotees and consider every week a farmers market week. If this is true of you, here’s a challenge for you: Try a curiously intimidating new-to-you local vegetable. That’s what Bonnie Azab Powell at The Ethicurean plans to do:

I’m in a rut, though, with my farmers market routine. I know what I like, who I like to buy it from, and I head straight for those stands. So this year, I’m going to celebrate National Farmers Market Week by forcing myself out of my vegetable comfort zone. I’ll be picking up whatever looks weirdest or most unfamiliar to me — kohlrabi, say, or Romanesco broccoli — and figuring out how to cook it.
I’ll unfortunately be missing my local farmers market this week because I’ll be in New York for the BlogHer ’10 conference — but I hope to discover new veggies while I’m in the Big Apple! If there’s a great Sunday market that you recommend in New York, please let me know.

In the meantime, share the pleasures and perils of your farmers market adventures. What is the strangest piece of produce you’ve bought at the farmers market? Was it delicious — or disgusting?

Celebrate National Farmers Market Week
The first week of August is National Farmers Market Week. What new local vegetable will you try in celebration?