I never went to Farmer’s Markets as a kid, but we did go to the farm a few times a year to get produce like roasted green chiles or green beans for canning but I don’t actually think there was such a thing as an actual gathering of vendors like there is today. Nowadays most cities have one every weekend during the summer months which is where you can usually find us. I realize how completely unexciting this sounds but the we love it. At the one we went to last weekend, the girls were eating roasted corn on the cob, drinking lemonade, sampling jams, dips, and fruit, while also petting every single fluffy dog we walked by. They loved it. There’s even a food truck or two for most of the bigger ones which is always extra exciting. It’s an easy few hours and a great excuse to get outside, but more than that it’s a great place to buy food. Like real food. Here are 4 reasons why you should get out there and shop local at a Farmer’s Market this weekend.
1. Many times, it’s cheaper. We filled a huge bag containing most of what you see below for $10. The trucks that come in are loaded with produce that they want to sell and not reload again to take back. This means that prices are typically lower than stores and you can make a deal with them right before the market ends because they probably just throw it away. If you’re looking for the best prices, go about 20 minutes before they close and don’t be shy about asking to pay a little less. Every time we’ve asked for deal, they’ve gladly accepted.
2. The produce is more nutritious. Most of the time at grocery store (here in Colorado anyway) the produce is from other countries which is weird considering places in the U.S. like California have a year long grow season but who knows how these things work I guess. Every day that piece of fruit or vegetable sits out, it looses nutrients and that food at your store had to be picked, processed, loaded on a truck, a plane, another truck, then set up in a pretty pyramid ready for purchase. So most things you buy were picked weeks ago when they were still unripened to prevent them from spoiling during the long commute. What you see at the markets are produce grown from local farms picked days or even hours before it gets to you. It’s better for you and it’s better for the environment because your food’s typically long commute becomes really short.
3. You’ll try things you typically don’t. At the store you probably buy the usual carrots, apples, or lettuce that you know your family will eat. We all get in that rut. But when you see something fresh and in season, grab it and worry about finding a recipe for it later. We don’t typically buy brussels sprouts, but there were tons of them and they looked great so I’ll figure out a good plan for them on Pinterest this week.
4. It encourages you to cook. So many people eat 3 meals a day without actually cooking anything which is crazy to me. Convenience foods and drive thrus have made us lazy when it comes to actually preparing meals. Buying food like this inspires you to cook and eat healthy which is ultimately the best reason of all.