Every Saturday Peter and I have a ritual that we love. First we bring our cans and plastics to the recycling center and then we go shopping at two local farmer’s markets. Even though we grow a lot of our own fruits and veggies, it’s so much fun to see what other people in the area are harvesting. And sometimes they have items that we aren’t growing, so it’s nice to buy our produce locally.
There are so many wonderful reasons to shop at a local farmer’s market. If there’s one in your area, you might consider shopping there regularly. And here’s 9 reasons why we think it’s such a great idea:
1. You are supporting local farmers – your neighbors – instead of anonymous corporations.
2. Less fuel is used to transport the produce to the farmer’s market than is used to get the majority of produce to your local supermarket. Say yes to the environment.
3. Usually produce is less expensive at the farmer’s market. I have found the prices set by our local farmers to be very reasonable. And even if the price is the same on an item in the store, I don’t mind because I feel good about where my money is being spent.
4. We have met the nicest people at the farmer’s markets. Building a community of like-minded people is a wonderful thing!
5. Fresh, fresh, fresh! The produce that is sold at the market is usually harvested within 24 hours of sale. How often does that happen in the supermarket?
6. Not all of the farmers at the market are organic, but many of them are. And you can ask the farmers directly what kind of seeds they use, what they add to their soil and if they spray. I have found most of them to be very forthcoming with that information.
7. I love the variety I find at the farmer’s market. I had no idea there were so many different kinds of melons, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and greens. It is fun to try new veggies every week.
8. Farmer’s markets are not just for fruits and veggies. Some of the other items I saw at our market last Saturday were handmade jewelry, scarves, children’s clothing, baked goods, maple syrup, honey, flowers, soap, dog biscuits, eggs, wood carvings and more. I just may be buying some holiday gifts from our market this year.
9. Learn from other experts. The people at the market are a wealth of information and many of them have been farming for decades. It is great to get gardening and farming tips right from the people who know best.
So, hopefully you’re inspired to find a local farmer’s market and check it out. You never know what goodies you might find there.