Suppose you have experienced the goods available at your local farmer’s market. In that case, you know how amazing it is to be able to enjoy locally sourced eggs, honey, and even coffee!
However, farmer’s markets aren’t just for selling foods; they’re also an excellent way for consumers to learn about and discover vendors and businesses around your area that you might not find at a larger retail store, such as ones that process handmade soaps and jewelry, flowers, and clothes.
Farmers markets are great for the local economy. Still, they’re also fantastic for discovering locally grown produce – and frequently, at the same price or less than what you’d find in a typical grocery store. In addition, the items are typically unpackaged, which can contribute to environmental efforts, and the local community come together, which can boost morale, networking, and overall atmosphere.
Let’s dive a bit further into these benefits, and then you’ll discover all the reasons why visiting your local farmer’s market might be a fun outing for you and the family!
You might think that the prices for goods at a farmer’s market are higher than what you’d find at a local grocery store – however, that’s untrue! According to the Farmer’s Market Coalition, research performed within farmer’s markets in the southeast noted that almost three-quarters of communities had farmer’s markets with produce prices lower than a regular grocery store.
Prices also tend to be lower since the packaging and shipping process for goods typically found at a farmer’s market come fresh and within a hundred miles or so (as opposed to grocery stores, whose produce could come from another state or even another country). In addition, most farmers bring their items straight to the farmer’s market, eliminating the middleman of state or country-wide transportation and the related costs.
Do you love getting organic produce from the grocery store but aren’t fans of the prices? Then, have no fear at your local farmer’s market. You typically buy produce in season, and you’ll also get affordable fruits and veggies organically grown by local farmers.
A big bonus of shopping at farmers markets is the networking availability within the local community! Aside from this, knowing who you are getting your products and goods from inspires a closer sense of community, especially with items coming from neighbors. Farmer’s markets are also very kid-friendly, and most will have special events for kids, especially on the weekends. Your kids can get in on the fun, with events and vendors offering small games and face painting to watching donut making and doing simple crafts.
Another fun bonus to bringing the kids along is having them pick out fresh fruits and veggies for snacks and meals during the week! Maybe you’ll come across a new vegetable your child hasn’t had before – it’s a perfect way to let them choose the produce, bag it up, and then take it home to have some one-on-one time with you while prepping a healthy meal. Lastly, interaction with the local farmers and vendors is a wonderful way to discover how your food is grown, learn the process to harvest items, and even gather information on some simple recipes and tips for canning, storage, etc.
Aside from being able to get fruits and vegetables that are picked at the peak of ripeness (as opposed to produce from the grocery store that is picked way ahead of when it’s ready to eat), you’ll often find that a large majority of these items are also not sprayed with pesticides!
If you’re aiming to eat more fruits and veggies from the rainbow, the farmer’s market is the perfect place to find seasonal produce; from asparagus and eggplant to turnips and peas, you will find plenty of healthy and tasty produce that can boost mental and physical health. Granted, you can get many of these items from the grocery store…. but when you have a fresh tomato from a local farm and compare it to the one you can get from a store, the taste and experience aren’t the same! The freshness can’t be beaten, and ten-fold enhances the flavor and overall eating experience.
If you’re considering visiting your local market on an upcoming weekend, be prepared! Bringing cash, a bag for your items, and possibly a small cooler for the car (especially if you’re picking up fresh meats or dairy products) can be helpful on the day off and save some hassle. Of course, some vendors will also now accept card payments – and give you a bag for your products – but to be on the safe side, coming prepared just in case is helpful! Once you experience the fun, open atmosphere of a local farmer’s market, it’ll certainly be difficult to grab your produce from a commercial grocery store – after all, the fresh produce, eggs, milk, and flowers will speak for themselves.