Going to your local farmer's market is a mixture of culture, community and of course, fresh, local food. The benefits of shopping at your local farmer's market are numerous, including the following:
- The fruits and vegetables bought at the farmer's market are the freshest and tastiest available. Produce is brought directly to you - no long-distance shipping or artificial ripening processes.
- Food at the farmer's market is in season, andshopping and cooking the goods purchased there helps you to learn what is in season in our region.
- Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their products and keeps resources within your local community.
- Food at the farmer's market is transported shorter distances and grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth. Local farmers take pride in growing the most nutritious produce possible.
- At your local farmer's market you may find an amazing variety of produce that you don't see in your supermarket, such as sugar baby melons and watermelon radishes!
- The farmer's market is a community gathering place where you often can meet up with friends and bring your children and pets.
- Meeting and talking to farmers is a great opportunity to learn more about how food is grown, where it is grown, when it is grown and why!
Listed below are some tips and questions to ask vendor's when you visit your local farmer's market:
- When was this picked? It should have been picked when ripe, within in the last day or two.
- Where's the farm? Many will be within 90 miles of your farmer's market.
- Is the food Organic? Some local farmers cannot afford organic certifications, but the food is still organically grown.
- Is it sustainable? Ask if the farm performs crop rotations and employ bio-diversity.
- Is there a good recipe? Vendors enjoy sharing recipes and storage tips for the food they grow.
- Create a list, and get those items first. Since most of the produce is ripe when you buy it, its shelf life is probably only a few days. Don't buy so much food that it spoils before you can eat it.
- Give the kids a budget. Let them choose and purchase some fruits and veggies on their own. They will be more inclined to eat the healthy items they picked out and paid for.
- Bring your own bags.
For the month of August, eggplant, bi-color corn, watermelon, cantaloupes, specialty melons, tomatoes, melons, beans, Brussels sprouts,beets, plumbs, cucumbers, okra, and candy onion.