6 Reasons to Visit Your Local Farmer’s Market

July 25, 2013 | By | Comments (1)
Farmer's markets

Did George Washington shop here? He might! This the Farmer’s Market in Old Town Alexandria, VA, one of the oldest, still-active markets in the country. It’s open Saturday morning from 7 AM until noon year-round. Photo by Steve Bender.

One of the most encouraging developments in recent years is the skyrocketing popularity of local farmer’s markets, where you can buy veggies, fruit, flowers, and lots of other stuff directly from the field. If you haven’t been to one, you’re really missing out. Here are 6 extremely persuasive reasons why you should haul your keester out of the recliner and visit a farmer’s market this weekend.

#1. Produce isn’t picked half-ripe and shipped across the country. It’s picked ripe usually the day before the market by local growers, so its flavor, quality, and nutritional content beats anything you can find at a chain grocery store by a country mile.

#2. Every dollar you spend at a local farmer’s market supports the local economy and small businessmen, not a multi-national corporation. Small farmers don’t do what they do to get rich. They do what they do because they love it and we need it.

#3. The variety of produce at a farmer’s market is much greater than that at the average grocery store. You’ll see heirloom veggie and fruit varieties that aren’t available from corporate farms because they’re either harder and more expensive to grow or they don’t ship well over long distances.

Farmer's markets

Peppers, eggplants, cukes, squash, beans, tomatoes, corn, and more. Photo by Steve Bender.

#4. Farmer’s markets offer so much more than veggies. You’ll find freshly cut flowers, local honey, jams, jellies, artisan bread and cheese, fresh eggs of all different colors, live plants, and all sorts of other things. Shopping at one is an adventure, not a chore.

#5. Many small farmers represented at these markets practice sustainable agriculture, minimizing the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. This means produce not only tastes great, but is also safe to consume.

#6. Visit a farmer’s market regularly and you’ll get to know the people behind the produce. You can ask them directly how they grow or produce what they’re selling. And you’ll soon figure out who has the best tomatoes, watermelons, blueberries, honey, eggs, beans, and pickles. Farming returns to what it used to be — a noble quest to provide tasty, nutritious food to your family, neighbors, and community.

Been to a Farmer’s Market Lately?
What’s your favorite farmer’s market where you live? Tell Grumpy and your fellow readers about it. Don’t know where one is near you? Click this link to find one!

COMMENTS

  1. Colin McKnight

    For all the southerners escaping the heat and visiting New York, I recommend the High Rock market in Saratoga Springs (Saturdays), the Troy waterfront market (also Saturdays), and the Schenectady Greenmarket (Sundays). All have great selections and are lots of fun.

    July 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm