Longer days, warm weather (unless you’re also in the northeast) and lots of sunshine aren’t the only things to love about this time of year. In cities across the country, late May and early June brings the return of farmers market season. Many rural and urban areas offer the ability to open-air shop the spring, summer and fall harvests — in addition to other handcrafted foods and goods. In celebration of the recent reopening of our city’s market, let’s talk reasons to discover and visit a market near you!
5 Reasons To Visit Your Local Farmers Market :
Supporting Local Agriculture/Business
In the grocery store, our food is far removed from its source, and it can be hard to imagine where it came from. At the farmers market (or even a just a stand) you get to be face to face with either the person who grew that food or someone who works closely with the person who does. When you buy produce from these small farmers, you’re directly supporting their livelihood and their ability to continue contributing to your local food system. Many markets offer more than just food. You might have the opportunity to support a local artisan, baker or coffee roaster too!
Fresh Air and Sunlight
As humans we spend far too much time indoors, especially in the winter. If you live in the northeast, or areas of similar climate, warmer months are at a premium. It’s important to take advantage of the sunshine and fresh air. Getting outside and walking around your market for even just half an hour allows you time away from your home or office to breathe in the fresh air and take in that natural Vitamin D. Its a great way to reenergize and boost our mood!
We do a lot of sitting. Going to the farmer’s market is a simple way to get in some gentle movement and stretch the body. If you’re fortunate enough to have a long enough lunch break, head to your local weekday market for a walk! If your city’s market is on the weekend, it’s a great way to move while enjoying the outdoors and also doing some grocery shopping. Two birds with one stone you might say (though, let’s not really go throw stones at birds, please).
Relatively Affordable Prices
Organic or conventional, the prices tend to be lower at a farmer’s market. Our market has a few organic (or transitioning to organic) farmers and buying directly from them at the market keeps the cost significantly lower than buying organic in a grocery store. Additionally, many markets offer the ability to use state food benefits at farmer’s markets, so it can be a good way to stretch the money you have for produce and other quality items. And again, if the prices are about the same as they’d be in store, I like knowing that at the market the profit is going straight to the farm(er).
One of the things I find most perplexing is the amount of organic produce wrapped in plastic at the grocery store. Shopping at a farmers market is a great way to significantly reduce plastic packaging waste. I recommend taking your own reusable bags and containers for easy waste-free storage and transport! Many farmers will reuse the little cardboard crates if they can, so bringing your own containers allows them to keep it and reuse it!
Finding a Local Farmers Market
Do you have a market in your area? Are you not sure? Check out Local Harvest’s farmers market finder page here. You might be surprised to learn just how many are in you area! You can also use this website to discover organic or CSA farms near you. If you don’t have a local farmers market, you might still have the ability to purchase directly from a local farmer.
Let’s keep the conversation going! Comment below or send a message sharing why you love shopping your farmers market. If you enjoyed this post, make sure to subscribe to Minding My Soul and get new posts delivered directly to your inbox!