I used to visit farmers’ markets all the time, but somehow I got out of the habit of it. Recently, however, I’ve been going more often, and I can’t believe that it’s been so long.
Here’s my top ten reasons why you should track down your local farmers’ market and visit this weekend:
- Food is fresh. Farmers will often have picked their produce the day before, or even that morning. I’ve found fresh cheeses no more than 24 hours old, and plenty of fruit and veggies that have been picked just before being packed into the van and taken to the market.
- Food is better – there’s no gassing, no artificial ripening, and no radiation to kill pests. Food that’s picked at it’s best and naturally ripened is so much better for you.
- Shop locally. Food has a lower eco footprint when it’s grown and sold locally. In some cases, food is even better for you if it’s local. Honey produced locally will actually help boost your immunity to hay fever.
- Shop organic. It supports good land stewardship, and it means less pesticides for you and your family.
- Become part of your community. When you shop regularly at farmers markets, you get to know the producers. Unlike at a supermarket, people want to chat to you about what they’re producing, and it becomes not just a shopping trip, but a social outing!
- Support your local economy. When you buy directly, you’re supporting the producer and their family, and you’re ensuring that they get a fair price for what they’re producing. Unlike the supermarkets, who are squeezing every last cent out of the producer.
- Save money. Eliminating the middleman saves you money, especially when you can buy cheap seasonal produce when there are gluts.
- Learn about food. Talk to the producer about how it’s made, what’s the best way to eat it, and new and delicious ways to cook it. It’s great for kids to learn where food comes from, too.
- Enjoy seasonality and get to know what’s in season. Fruit and veggies are cheaper to eat when in season, and they’re at their most delicious. You’ll also see varieties that you don’t get in the supermarket – heirloom fruits and vegetables, meats from different breeds, and cheeses that just don’t make it to the supermarket shelves.
- Know where your food comes from. When you’re buying direct from the farmer you can ensure that you’re buying meat, dairy and eggs from humane producers.
Why not get yourself to a farmer’s market this weekend? To find your local farmers market, jump on over to the Australian Farmers’ Markets Association. http://farmersmarkets.org.au/
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