6 Reasons to Support Your Local Farmer’s Market
Many of us make the weekly trip to our local farmer’s market to stock up on fresh produce and unique products that can only be found in this special place where it’s truly all about the community we’ve chosen to call, home. The benefits of shopping at your local farmer’s market are indeed plentiful to you, your family, your health, and local community. Benefits we can easily forget in this age where time seems to be less and less, forgiving. Need a refresher to jumpstart the farmers market shopper in you? Here are 6 reasons to (inspire you to) shop your local farmer’s market:
1. Take in the Beauty of the Season with Fresh Flavor and Color
The produce, foods and other products offered at your local farmer’s market are directly tied to the seasons that surround you. This is a place where the foods that are grown throughout your region are introduced, allowing us to gain an understanding of our natural surroundings and really connect with our own backyard, so to speak. Next time you’re at the farmer’s market, take in the colors all around you, sample the various produce, and take your time to notice what’s available for the season.
2. Pure, Ripe, Taste
The produce that is sold at the farmer’s market (likely) hasn’t traveled very far to get to you. No sitting in storage. No dealing with the gassing process that inevitably affects the ripening process. This means you’re getting truly fresh produce, at its tastiest, straight from the land that surrounds you! The taste is as pure as it can be because it’s brought straight from a local farm directly to you.
3. Knowing Where Your Food Comes From
This is a big one with health conscious crowds. Over the past fifty years or so, we’ve relied on highly processed, pre-packaged foods, and the scariest part is that we honestly have no idea where it comes from. Hard hitting documentaries have given us a glimpse, and it’s frightening. At the farmer’s market, you’re given the opportunity to ask questions about where the food that’s presented actually comes from. You’ll find majority of it is truly produced locally. Everything from fruits, veggies, breads, and even eggs and dairy products are grown or created nearby. These individuals care just as much as you do about what goes into their bodies, and moreover they’re passionate about providing clean foods and products to their community.
4. Supporting Your Local Farmers
This one falls right in-line with point number 3. When you start regularly visiting your local farmer’s market, you have an opportunity to get to know the people who are providing all of these fresh foods and products. Ask them questions — what is their name? where are they from? where is their farm located? what else do they grow? what’s the best crop they’ve had this year? what are they excited to bring for the season? Sometimes they even have a website or social media account where you can see what their property looks like. Get to know these people to truly connect with and immerse with your community.
5. Show the Environment You Care
Shopping at your local farmer’s market is a gentle act to support the preservation of our environment. As with point number 3, much of our food travels a great distance — in the U.S. we’re talking an average of at least 1,500 miles. This amount of travel uses a great deal of natural resources (mostly fossil fuel). We’re so disconnected from not only where it comes from, but how it’s been prepared. In many instances we’ve learned that the preparation and process that much of our food endures is anything BUT eco-friendly. Items at your local farmers market travel much less, and (commonly) go through a much gentler process overall making them more eco-friendly, naturally.
6. Supporting the Humane Treatment of Animals
Animal products found at your local farmer’s market such as eggs, cheese, and other dairy products are raised humanely without hormones or antibiotics. Farmers market’s all have different regulations, but the end goal is to provide clean, fresh, and safe foods to the table. Many of these animals are raised on small-ish farms, free to graze naturally on the land and roam openly. If you’re in doubt, ask questions. Your patronage is their livelihood, so they’re willing to answer your questions as openly and honestly as possible.
We can’t promise that every farmer’s market will adhere 100% to the above stated reasons, but regulations for farmer’s market vendors is typically pretty strict. If you’re curious, make sure to contact whomever is in charge with your questions.
If you’re in the area, please come visit the Solana Beach Farmer’s Market on Cedros Ave., every Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. Food court opens at 12pm.
If you enjoyed this post you might also want to read, “Take a Mental Health Day to Shop, Dine and Pamper Yourself.“
The Cedros Ave. Merchants Association supports all of the vendors and businesses on Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach. The Avenue covers two and a half enchanting blocks of more than 85 boutiques, shops, cafes, salons, day spas, art galleries and more! Located just 20 miles north of downtown San Diego, Cedros Ave. has been a point of interest for over three decades and is the only shopping district in San Diego solely populated by independent boutiques and businesses.