A few weeks ago I read an article about how farmers markets were detrimental to society. Though I respect the author’s view, I do not see any of what they claimed in their article, in my local farmers markets. And as such, wondered if they had ever been to one, only been to one when they traveled, or if their local market truly made them feel that way. It saddened me to read it really. With all that said, I love to shop at farmers markets and have compiled a list as to why I shop them. As I believe life is about togetherness and community, I hope that if you have never been to one, you will try one out. And if you do shop them, you continue to do so. Here is my list:
Produce is locally grown and fresh. No matter what the local grower/farmer is selling, it is normally right after harvest. This means the product is fresh, not days old after having been shipped, hauled, stored, and then displayed. Because the product is fresh, it means it has a better flavor and has not lost any of its nutrients.
Products are usually organic. I have found, in many cases, local markets are growers that are smaller in nature and thus farm organically. If they do however, use chemicals, the grower is there for you to ask questions of. Many will tell you exactly what they put on their plants. Then you can decide whether or not you want to buy.
Your immune system will thank you. When you buy products you know are grown in your area, that are grown in the same geographical type of soil, then you ingest and expose yourself to the chemical make up of everything that surrounds you. Thus you are already preparing your immune system for any effects that may occur during pollination. It is possible, some of you may begin to notice that you are having less reactions.
They are not only for food. Though many of us like to go to farmers markets for our fruits, vegetables, honey, dairy, and other eatables, many farmers markets have other goods. I have seen everything from furniture, scarves, quilts, artwork, to Jewelry. Many of us have very talented neighbors and we possibly may not even know they are that talented. This leads me to my next one.
A good place to get to know your neighbors. Whether your neighbor is the talented knitter selling scarves or mittens, or the person looking for some raw honey, farmers markets are a very good place to mingle and to get to know the people of your community. You may just make a new friend for life.
Your money stays in your community. I like to save the best for last. Why not want your money to stay in your community? Farmers markets are a very good way to support your local businesses, farmers, growers, artists, and neighbors. It is a very good way to keep your money where it should be, helping out everyone in your community.
These are just a few things I came up with as to why I will always promote a local farmers market. This does not mean I do not also shop the chains, big and small, it just means I will always want to have the ability to shop a local farmers market. Especially if I, am like most, and do not keep a garden of my own. So get out there, get to know your neighbors, support your community, and enjoy the local, fresh, flavorful fare. You just might find, you feel exactly the same way I do.