There are many reasons why you are smart to support your local farmers and farmers market this summer. From finding unique products and foods that aren’t available in stores to connecting with your community, the farmers market is considered a community hub in many towns. Don’t let summer pass without a trip to your local farmers market.
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After serving as a produce grower and selling at my town’s farmers market for the past seven years, there are many reasons why I believe that shopping at a farmers market is important.
Top 5 Reasons
- The food is fresher and tastes better than you can imagine. If you’ve never tasted how crisp a freshly-picked cucumber is, you don’t know what you’re missing. The lettuce is greener, crisper, and lasts much longer. The carrots are sweeter, the peaches juicier, and the jams are made from real ingredients without fake additives.
- You can meet the actual farmers who grow the food. Most of the produce you’ll find at your farmers market is grown by the person standing at the table selling it to you. If you’re not sure, ask them. The farmers and producers at a farmers market work hard to bring the best they have to market and are usually more than happy to share their growing practices, why they grow certain varieties and lots more gardening advice with you.
- You’ll get better nutrition from fresher, better food. It’s not a secret that produce found at big supermarkets undergoes a process to get there. It’s often grown using lots of chemicals to control pests and diseases. Then it’s harvested, shipped hundreds or thousands of miles, and held in storage before it even reaches your grocery store. Farmers’ market produce is often picked only days or even hours prior to market day.
- You’ll gain a better appreciation for the seasonality of food. Everything has its season: early spring asparagus and radishes, summer berries and tomatoes, fall squashes, and winter greens. Even items you don’t think of as having a season, like eggs, aren’t as readily available at certain times of the year. Knowing that your favorite produce has a season and anticipating this time makes us all stop and savor it while it lasts.
- You get to connect with your community. It’s much more enjoyable to casually stroll around an outdoor farmers market than to rush through a busy grocery store. Visiting a farmers market can be a relaxing, fun experience where you may find unique items unavailable in large stores. It’s a place to get to know the farmers, visit with other shoppers, and make new friends. Plus, by shopping at a farmers’ market, you support people who live in your community, making your community a better place.
If you haven’t yet discovered how great your local farmers market can be, now’s the time to put it on your calendar and set a phone reminder to visit it this summer. Truly, you don’t know what you’re missing. And you may get the inspiration you need to begin (or begin again) a new hobby like home cooking or gardening.