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5 Reasons to Shop at a Farmers’ Market

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Farmers’ markets offer in season produce with the best nutritional qualities.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are filled with healthy antioxidants and phytonutrients.  Check out what vegetables and fruits are in season in your area for the best tastes.

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Supporting farmers and artisans in your area helps them to continue to produce their goods. You can have a direct impact on keeping farmlands alive and prosperous.  Help your local farmers to keep growing by giving them your support.

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Markets also offer an opportunity for the community to prosper.  Help your community’s economy by purchasing goods direct from its local source at farmers’ markets.   Many farmers’ markets accept SNAP and WIC benefits.

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Farmers’ markets offer a great experience for kids to learn about the foods they are eating.  Get them involved in how food is grown and then turned into their favorite dishes.  Learn what foods are grown in your area. Let your kids pick out something new and exciting for them to try!

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Why not try out some different vegetables and fruits?  Farmers’ markets provide a great source of lesser known produce that you can incorporate into your meals.  Growers can also offer great ideas for new recipes that incorporate their goods.  Be daring and pick up something different on your next visit!

 

6 Steps to Mastering the Farmer’s Market

6steps_1Research all of your local farmers’ markets in order to find the best deals.  If there are multiple market places in your area, try them all out!  Farmers’ markets generally run from the spring to the fall.  Make sure to become accustomed with their unique hours of operation so you don’t miss out.

6steps_2Become familiar with the farmers and artisans selling at your local market.  Typically, sellers at markets are the same individuals who grow the produce.  Getting to know farmers personally can help build a long lasting relationship and get you better deals.

6steps_3Farmers are more likely to barter with you for their goods.  Try offering them something other than cash. Barter with your own unique products.   You may even be able to trade with your own skills such as plumbing or design.  Farmers appreciate individuals who have skills as well.  Try to strike a bargain with them as well!

Be willing to try new fruits and vegetables at your farmers’ market.  Lesser known products are often much cheaper than your typical produce.  Be adventurous and add new foods to your meals.

6steps_5Chat with your farmers!  Don’t forget to compliment them on all of their hard work.  If you loved last week’s cilantro, let them know.  Everybody loves to be appreciated and chatting about food can lead to personal relationships with growers.  If you find your way into a farmer’s heart you may walk away with a better deal on their produce.

6steps_6Purchase produce when it is in its peak season. Many growers will have a surplus of fruits and vegetables that you can buy in bulk and keep for future use.  Buying in bulk can save you money on seasonal food that you may not be able to purchase during the rest of the year.  Try canning, drying, or freezing produce for use during its off season!