http://media.zenfs.com/en-US/blogs/partner/2539937014_f55ecebf38.jpgWritten by Dunia Abbas, Four Green Steps.com
For the longest time, fresh, local, and organic have been some of the many themes behind farmer's markets. They provide fruits, vegetables, fish and eggs as well as many hand-made items such as brooms, herb and spices, bath and body care products, organic teas, etc… But there is more to farmer's markets than that, so why exactly is hitting the farmer's market so good for you?
1.It's local and personal; farmers usually grow what's in season locally, you might even know who you are buying from personally, as they are usually locals from your area or you've already built a relationship with them through your visits to the farmer's market.
2.It's fresh; you can taste the difference between berries locally bought and ones at a supermarket in North America that came from Chile. You will also find that most of the restaurants in your area are committed to sourcing their ingredients from your farmer's market, because it ensures that the meals they are providing are high quality and healthy for their customers. Many restaurants are also extremely supportive now of their local communities and buying local is a big part of that commitment.
3.It's sustainable; local produce usually travels less than 10 miles from field to market, which means your carbon footprint is almost non-existent compared to when you buy from a supermarket. By buying from your farmer's market, you are supporting sustainable agriculture, better animal treatment, and enhancing the quality of life of farmers and society as a whole.
4. It's healthy; products bought at your local farmer's markets are some of the most natural products you can buy and have less chemicals, preservatives, and processed ingredients than supermarket ones. They are good for you as they will increase your body's natural intake of essential nutrients and they are good for your environment since you are participating in a 'green' practice.
5.It's educational; you can learn so many things from your farmers by just starting a conversation with them about what you are considering buying.
6.It's cheap; although their work is labor intensive, local farmers incur much less expenses than a supermarket which translates into them being able to provide their products for much less than supermarkets.
7.It's variety; you will find a wide array of fresh produce and other items to select from all the different farmers and vendors that participate in farmer's markets. Who knows, maybe one day you will participate? Many people use their farmer's market to sell hand-made items and raise money to support local causes and charities.
8.It's therapeutic; farmer's markets are usually set up in open spaces where there is a lot of foot traffic and many spots where people can buy and relax afterwards. Music, colors, conversations, and smiles are among the things that will always be present at any farmer's market. People feel good when they go, they are doing something good for themselves by buying healthy and giving something back by buying locally and in turn, supporting their local community.
9.It's interesting; all kinds of people visit the farmer's market, all kinds of products make their way to the farmer's markets and all kinds of events take place. Free samples, dogs and babies, exotic flowers and new spices are among a long list of interesting things you can find at your farmer's market.
10. It's fun; you never know who you might see and what might happen at each visit to your farmer's market. Because it is based on an open-space and public concept, many musicians and entertainers become regulars at farmers markets and little gathering cafes and spots pop up. It's so easy to spend a whole day just walking around and hanging out at your farmer's market.