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Top 10 Reasons to Shop a Farmers’ Market

May 5, 2015 | By | Reply More

farmers' market

Our happenin’ market

It’s been many years since I’ve shopped for food at conventional, mega-grocery stores and now I find them depressing with their fluorescent lights and aisle after aisle of packages and boxes that are mostly devoid of identifiable food.

Thankfully, I’ve discovered my local farmers’ markets. Between my garden and these markets, my trips to the grocery store are few and far between. In fact, Ambler Farmers’ Market just opened for the season and I had a fabulous first day of shopping for locally-caught rainbow trout, spring asparagus and greens, pastured eggs, artisan bread, and the most beautiful tulip bouquets I’ve ever seen. After Thanksgiving, a nearby winter market picks up after the holidays and runs through March to supply us with meat, winter storage vegetables and fresh greens.

No matter where you live, there’s probably a farmers’ market nearby. You can find one here. What’s so great about shopping at a farmers’ market anyway?

  1. farmers' market

    Only the BEST food!

    When you shop at a farmers’ market, your money goes to local people rather than being sent to some corporation’s fat bank account. This fosters healthy and sustainable local economies.

  2. You will not always pay less for your food at a farmers’ market, but the prices reflect the true cost of growing, raising, and harvesting the food. You will not be paying for unsustainable distribution channels, flashy packaging, or expensive advertising.
  3. When you shop at a grocery store, everything is in a package and most of that packaging ends up in landfills. At a farmers’ market, what you see is what you get. You’ll need to bring your own shopping bags and almost everything is sold with no packaging at all.
  4. When you stop relying on the convenience of mega-stores, you’ll learn what’s in season. Grocery stores promote the idea that all food is plentiful year-round, even if most of it’s coming from thousands of miles away. Buying produce that’s naturally in season in your area assures the best quality and price.
  5. You will see foods at your farmers’ market that you will never see at your local grocery store. I discovered garlic scapes, sweet potato greens, ground cherries, heirloom radishes, and many other novel foods only through my farmers’ market, and it’s an adventure to cook and enjoy them.
  6. farmers' marketYou will learn new cooking techniques and recipes simply from talking to other shoppers. When I notice someone buying a bunch of ramps or Mexican sour gherkins, I ask what they intend to do with them and most people are happy to share their ideas.
  7. The farmers’ market provides a sense of community that an impersonal shopping trip to the grocery store never could. Other shoppers might include your neighbors, your kid’s teacher, or the chef at your favorite local restaurant.
  8. Instead of shopping indoors under glaring fluorescent lights, you can shop in the open air out in the sunshine. It’s lovely to shop for fresh food while walking around outside on a perfect spring day.
  9. When you shop at a farmers’ market, you will get to know the farmers and you can ask them questions about how your food is raised or grown. Sometimes, the farmers will even welcome visits to their farms so you can see their practices for yourself.
  10. Shopping locally at a farmers’ market reduces your “food miles” and the environmental impact of your food choices. Food hasn’t traveled far to get to you, it was most likely grown by farmers who are good stewards of the land, and there is no wasted packaging. If you want to live more sustainably, start with your food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Category: Enviable Ideas, General, Home and Garden

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