Farmers markets have been around for a long time, but they’ve been gaining in popularity. With farm-to-table restaurants, organic produce, and local sourcing, there’s been increased popular interest in food quality and its “pedigree,” and going straight to the source (i.e., farms).
Farmers markets can be a nice supplement to your conventional grocery store. Since produce comes from local or regional farms as opposed to places across the country, it spends less transport time sitting on a truck. This means it’s fresher, has better flavor, and retains more of its nutrients.
You may see some fruits or vegetables that you wouldn’t usually find at a typical store, like heirloom varieties of tomatoes. And what you see at the market is what’s in season at the moment, so it will be at peak taste and freshly picked. You can get tasty apples in the fall, and sweet peaches and berries in the summer. And it’s not just fruits and vegetables on offer either. Oftentimes, you can also buy meat, eggs, and baked goods — and even non-edible goods like soap.
economic and environmental pluses
Shopping at farmers markets means you’re also helping to support the local economy. Plus, there are environmental benefits too. Buying local helps to minimize transportation costs and, in turn, carbon emissions.
interactive shopping experience
Another benefit of farmers markets is that they are a way to interact directly with local farms. You can talk with farm vendors and learn more about the farm or the produce. In addition, you can ask them questions or get suggestions on how to prepare their wares.
And a lot of vendors will have samples for you to try, so you know exactly what you’re getting! You can sample all sorts of things, and may just try something new that you didn’t expect you’d like. It’s a fun atmosphere too, and can sometimes feel like a street fair.
Many items you find at a farmers market can also be had at a regular grocery store, but markets offer both tangible and intangible benefits, to both you and the wider community. There are lots of things to enjoy and discover at farmers markets — check one out if you haven’t already!