Buying from your local farmer allows you to support small, local farmers and agriculture. This means that the food you are eating comes from within 150 miles of our markets, is available seasonally and does not require the waste of energy and petroleum to ship the food half-way around the world. You are eating food from your own environment, where it has perfectly-created nutrients for your specific climate and region.
You can find a variety of fresh produce (most grown with organic methods) at more affordable prices than those certified organics from a supermarket. There are many farmers who offer fruits or vegetables that are not technically “organic” (as this is a costly and often bureaucratic-heavy process) but are pesticide and herbicide free. The advantage of a farmers’ market is it offers the consumer an opportunity to actually talk to the farmer, learn about growing methods, and then decide for yourself what is important. In most cases the farmers and ranchers will allow you to come and visit their farm or ranch.
You are supporting local human beings and the local economy, not massive agribusiness, GMO food conglomerates. Not only will your money be staying in the area, but you will support the the farmer (and his family) that worked to grow that food. You help send his kids to college and you will remember the farmer’s smile as he/she hands you that sweet, juicy peach.
By shopping at your local farmers market, you will eat seasonally, fresh and ripe, increasing your overall health. Supermarkets offer a large variety of food which is picked before it has ripened decreasing its vitality and nutrients. Many believe that the body does not need imported pineapple in the dead of winter.
Food from your local farmers market is generally safer. Remember the outbreak of E. coli in bagged spinach? These outbreaks happen mostly in large industrial settings, where business-men work to mass produce food, ship to storehouses where it is combined with food shipped from other parts of the country and contamination can cross over. They then preserve it and bag it in mass amounts. At a farmers’s market if someone becomes ill it would be very easy to track which farm it came from.
The food from your local farmers market is, quite frankly, fresher. Because it was grown locally, there is a good chance that the greens you buy from the farmer were picked a yesterday. This is impossible in a big supermarket.
There is usually an amazing variety of fruits and veggies at your local farmers market. Each farmer may have his own methods and varieities of tomatoes, greens or peppers. Supermarkets cannot put something on the shelf that is “different” and expect that it will sell through. At the market you can discuss what the product is, how to cook and store.
There is no doubt that locally-grown foods simply taste better. You will never be able to eat a carrot from the grocery store again!
Eating fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables are great for your health. Buy yourself some local honey. It has just the right components for allergy prevention in Central Texas, not to mention it’s tasty!
Farmers markets are just plain fun for the whole family (including your 4 legged family members). Meeting family, co-workers and friends at the market is an excellent way to feel connected to the world around you, increasing health for body, mind and spirit.
An even better solution would be to grow your own food by creating a garden in your yard or on your balcony. Of course, this will take extra time and money, which a lot of us seem to lack these days. If so, your local farmers market vendors await your next visit!