Spring has finally sprung in most of the nation, which also means the return of many of our area farmers markets and produce stands.
Farmers markets offer so many unique things to a community. Obviously there are fresh fruits and vegetables, but some markets also offer freshly baked breads and desserts, preserves and jellies, fresh flowers, handmade soaps and even breakfast foods to eat while you’re shopping. What’s not to love?
Five Reasons Why We Support Farmers Markets
1. They’re local. Studies have shown that making food purchases within a community not only benefits local farmers financially but encourages a stronger sense of community within its members. Not only will you shop for the produce you need, you’ll also build relationships with the vendors selling the food.
2. They’re fresh. According to nutrition.gov, freshly picked fruits and vegetables are at their “peak in flavor and nutrition.” They’re also full of valuable nutrients and antioxidants. And, because fruits and vegetables are seasonal, your fresh choices will vary from month-to-month, adding variety into the meals you prepare.
3. They’re relaxing. Let’s be honest –we tend to put off going to the grocery store. Why? Because we don’t like to fight the crowds, pushing carts down the aisles, reaching around others for what we’re looking for in an indoor environment. Farmers markets are much more laid back and slower-paced than most supermarkets. And shopping outdoors on a nice day is always a good thing. Soak up the fresh air and get your shopping done at the same time.
4. They’re kid friendly. Need a fun Saturday morning activity? Take your kids with you to the market. Many markets offer special activities or snacks specifically for children. Ask your children to help pick out the fruits and vegetables for dinner that evening, then have them help you prepare the meal. It’s a valuable lesson in where the food they eat comes from and it helps to build healthy eating habits at a young age.
5. They’re environmentally friendly. There’s a reason why farm-to-table style restaurants have grown in popularity as of late. Shipping food across the country is not only expensive, it’s harmful to the environment. Think about the amount of gasoline consumption that could be reduced simply by purchasing your produce locally. As a consumer, you can help with this as well. Why not ride your bike, take your Rhoades Car, or even walk to a nearby farmers market?
How about you?
Not only are there fresh fruits and vegetables, but farmers markets support the local community and can be a family-friendly activity. Next Saturday, why not grab your Rhoades Car and head over to your nearest farmers market?
Do you frequent farmers markets too? What do you like about them? Leave us a comment below please. We always love to hear from our readers.