Summer is one of the best times to visit your local farmers market. Why you ask? There are many benefits to shopping at your local farmers market, including supporting local farmers, helping the environment, saving money on produce as well as the ability to enjoy fresh, local and organic foods.
When you purchase from local farmers, you help to support them and their businesses. With the growing number of foods that are produced by huge companies, smaller farmers have a much more difficult time making ends meet. By buying produce at your local farmers market, you give the farmers a fighting chance in today’s economy.
Did you know your food travels an average of 1,500 miles simply to reach you? This wastes enormous amounts of fossil fuels and also means that many of the foods have added preservatives so that they still appear fresh when they finally reach you. Along with the added preservatives, much of the produce farmed with conventional techniques pollutes the surrounding areas in which it is farmed. Sustainable farming on the other hand, utilizes the natural resources and works to create a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding ecosystems.
When food does not have added preservatives or flavorings, it actually tastes better. Local farmers typically farm what is appropriate for the season, giving you the brightest, juiciest and most flavorful food. Eating seasonally is one of the best ways to taste the true flavors of the produce. It allows you to be truly connected to your community. Many gain an appreciation for local and fresh produce when they buy directly from their neighboring farmers. This also allows for genuine interaction between farmers and the communities they serve, and gives a better understanding of how food is grown.
In many circumstances, the food you purchase from your local farmers market is cheaper than buying organic produce from a chain grocery store. Much of this has to do with the fact that the food does not have to travel as far, nor do the farmers have to account for as much lost food due to rot.
Produce is certainly not the only item you can buy at your farmers market. Many markets typically have indigenous meats, cheeses, spices, artists, and much more that is unique to your local community. It is an amazing way to get out, enjoy the sunshine and support and grow your local economy. Once you shop at a farmers market, you’ll most certainly have the desire to go back. I challenge you to get out and enjoy your community this summer!!
**Make sure to bring a reusable bag or two to bring your beautiful, fresh food home!**