5 Reasons to Visit Your Farmer’s Market

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Do you frequent your local farmer’s market? For many of us, these open air festivals of fresh produce are among the highlights of spring through early fall. Here are some great reasons to pay a weekly visit to your neighborhood farmer’s market:

Better quality food

Farmer’s markets offer the freshest food around—usually only hours from the field—so you get top quality and perfectly ripe flavor. And the colors, smells and tastes you will find offer a sensual experience that helps to re-establish your connection with fresh, whole, genuine food.

More organic options

Farmer’s markets have many organic options—usually quite affordable—enabling you to protect your family from antibiotics, pesticides, growth hormones, GMOs, dyes and other toxins. Organic agriculture also improves soil fertility, prevents chemical fertilizers from polluting waterways, and encourages species diversity.

Encourages healthy eating

Kids and adults alike enjoy exploring how foods are grown, harvested, and eaten by browsing market stalls and talking to farmers. And beautifully displayed, dewy fresh produce encourages us to eat more fruits and vegetables, making it easier to consume our recommend 6-12 daily servings for optimal wellness.

Supports your community

In an era when sustainable farmers struggle to survive, farmer’s market profits help keep small farms alive. Farmer’s markets are also cheerful social venues where you bump into friends and meet local growers personally. Kids love them too! And many open air markets feature special events, such as cooking demonstrations, music, festivals, and more.

It’s eco-friendly

Eating locally saves vast amounts of packaging waste and energy required to ship food around the globe. To continue that green theme, be sure to bring your own bags. Although most vendors offer small plastic bags, you definitely want to have larger “green” bags to carry your bounty.

Helps curb climate change

According to the American Farmland Trust, with our support, U.S. agriculture can help reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by adopting new practices and technologies and by producing low-carbon renewable energy. Studies indicate that changes in agriculture practices could offset up to one fifth of current U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

If you’re not already a habitué at your local farmers market, the National Farmer’s Market search engine can help you discover one near you: http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/ Eat fresh, eat local.

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