Farmers markets are really an exciting place to be. There's so much variety among the products that are sold to and it feels good to be able to support local farmers who work so hard and are typically under-appreciated. Let's look at some of the many benefits to shopping at your local farmers market.
1. The food is FRESH
Did you know that the fruit and vegetables that you purchase at the grocery store can quite frequently be many days old ... even before they placed in the produce aisle? The fact is that this food is shipped in trucks that are refrigerated, often from many thousands of miles away.
But when you get your fruit and veggies at your local farmers market, you can be sure that they're very fresh indeed and are hand-picked just before the seller headed out to the market. This way you get the freshest food possible ... yay!
2. You'll have peace of mind that the food is organic and does not contain GMOs
It seems to be the trend today that the majority of farmers who sell their produce at a farmers market have signs labeled "organic" or "non-GMO". This means that the food that you buy for yourself and your family will not contain any kind of chemicals whether it be fertilizer, pesticides, or even defoliants. Also, the seeds that have been used to grow the food have not been genetically modified. Overall, the practice of farming organically proves to be much better for your health, the environment and the soil that the food is grown in.
3. You'll have access to food that is SEASONAL
The trend now is to eat what is in season. This is really good for your body, as this is the way people in the past ate prior to the invention of refrigerated shipping. They ate according to what naturely grew during each season.
Did you ever notice that the lighter fruit and vegetables are plentiful in the spring and summer, such as strawberries, cherries, etc. and the heavier foods like pumpkins and squash are grown in the fall?
4. The food is RIPE
Sometimes at the grocery store you have to buy products that aren't even fully ripe yet. And you must wait quite a while for it to ripen at home before can enjoy it (I'm talking to you, Mr. Avocado!). And then what often happens is that you forget about this particular fruit or vegetable and then by the time you remember it's TOO LATE ... it's way past ripe! This is very inconvenient and an unfortunate loss of money, not to mention the environmental impact.
But at your farmers market, the produce is ready to eat due to the fact that the farmer hand-picked her best stuff. You may not be aware, but when produce is ripe it has the most sugar in it and of course it tastes the best. Note that when food is ripe, this is when it offers you the maximum nutritional value ... boom!
Kane Miller from YardYum
Kane has a background in engineering, but now focuses on environmental sustainability. He grew up on a 12-acre hobby farm and was fortunate to have been introduced to organic gardening at a young age.