Spending the warm summer mornings at my local Farmers Market is one of my absolute favorite things to do. Colorful fruits and vegetables from local farmers are picked at their peak, and without a grocery store to drive up expenses; they are available for a fair price. One of the best reasons to shop locally is that the money I spend goes straight back into my community and the local farmers. There are many other reasons to go visit your local Farmers Market including:
- Family-friendly: Strolling through the Market is an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with your family. Face painting, music, crafts and entertainment make the market much more enjoyable for the entire family than a regular trip to the grocery store. Exposing children to the Farmers Market is a fun way to educate them about healthy eating habits and wise nutrition choices. Some Markets have special guest booths that teach children about local, fresh food, including how bees make honey and the important role insects play in growing our food.
- Nutrition: Produce sold straight from the farmer offers more nutrients than that in chain stores that has been out for days. This is because once harvested, fruits and vegetables lose nutrients quickly. Most of the time the food tastes better because it was picked at its peak time and not subjected to hundred-mile trips. The non-processed food available emphasizes a diet that benefits physical and mental health, such as no added sugar, no GMO and low sodium.
- Get Tips: Farmers Market vendors are usually more than happy to educate us on how we can grow our own crops and plants. They give out tips on the best way to prepare foods and have many delicious recipes. The producer-consumer interaction is unique and helps to grow the community by building a bridge between the farm and the dinner table.
- New Foods: Even the most adventurous people will find something they have never tried at a Farmers Market. Herbs and spices that are used for everything from cooking to medicines to canning are readily available. You can also to try homemade sauces and explore natural skin care products. A blueberry might not be new to you, but there are over a hundred different varieties of blueberries that you may have never tried, or knew existed!