Shopping at a Farmers Market gives you access to fresh, locally grown foods that are available at the peak of the growing season. Besides the reward of receiving delicious, healthy produce, you get the added bonus of supporting your local community.
One of the great benefits of experiencing the farmers market is getting to know who’s growing the food! You can ask questions about how it’s grown, any potential pesticides that may be used, and get some growing tips and recipes—you’ll find most vendors love to share their secrets!
At a farmer’s market, it’s still easy to find all your favorites, and maybe even some new foods that can help spark up your meals. Challenge yourself to pick a variety of colors, as they all offer different nutritional benefits, and do your best to “eat a rainbow”.
Farmers Markets are also great for kids. By letting them get in on the action and pick out some new produce to try, you can help them learn about nutrition and form the habits of health at an early age. It’s also fun just to see what kind of healthy snack options they come up with!
Best of all, the food you find at your local farmer’s market comes from right down the road instead of thousands of miles away, with virtually all of the available options being organically produced and free of hormones, pesticides and other contaminants. This goes a long way towards better health for you and the whole family.
Shopping at farmer’s markets is only becoming easier. Although there are still a number who operate on a cash-only basis, many markets have also expanded into accepting debit and credit cards. Another new development is that most now support state-funded food assistance programs such as SNAP and WIC cards. On the other hand, one farmer’s market tradition that has remained is that it’s important to bring your own grocery bags — just in case!
As this year eases into a new season, it just might be a good idea to turn over a new leaf yourself. Take the time to pay a visit to your local Farmers Market and see what they have to offer — you’re sure to walk away with some good food, and maybe even some new friends!