5 Wonderful Benefits of Visiting Farmers Markets
August is a great time to visit your local farmers market. The nicer weather brings a wonderful opportunity to enjoy being out in the sun while you do some grocery shopping outside. Getting outdoors isn't the only benefit of farmers markets though. Here are five other benefits of attending your local farmers market:
A lot of produce in grocery stores will be picked before it's ripe so it doesn't rot during transit time. At a farmers market you know you'll be buying food that is in season and picked within a day or so.
Support local economy.
Farming is big business, and they are in major grocery stores. Why not give your hard-earned dollars to a small-business farmer instead? You will often find that the prices are cheaper than in your typical store. In addition to selling food, sometimes you can find specialty products like homemade jams, flowers, local honey, and arts and crafts items.
Get gardening tips from experts.
My family jokes that when it comes to gardening, I have a black thumb – I kill everything! If you want to be a better gardener, talk with an expert, like the farmers you will find selling their produce. They can offer tips and tricks for the best time to plant, how much sunlight is required, and ways to deal with pests.
Save the environment.
When you buy from local farms you are helping to reduce your carbon footprint. A retail store might have fruit from 1,000 miles away while farmers market products come 50-200 miles away. Keep in mind that buying at a farmers market does not necessarily mean you are buying organic food. Local farmers may use pesticides too. Since the farmer is standing right there, politely ask if any were used if this is something important to you.
Some farms will also let you pick your own fruits and vegetables directly, which is a fun family activity. As autumn harvest approaches you can often find Halloween-themed events, pumpkin patches, and delicious bakery items like apple pies. Farmers markets give an opportunity for you to discuss healthy habits and good nutrition with your kids.
Enjoy the last days of summer!