Farmers Markets: to go or not to go?
I love Farmers Markets. Fresh produce, beautiful crafts, homemade beauty products and a great community, what's not to adore about them?
I have always been excited by Farmers Markets. There’s just something great about waking up early on a Saturday morning and tottering around various vendors all selling local produce, meats, and goods.
As a child, we used to go to France every Summer and my favorite part of the trip would always be the huge weekend markets they had. I remember thinking how cool it was that people would bring their small trolleys and fill them up with fresh pastries, vegetables, and other goodies. The flower stalls were just to die for.
A few months ago I started doing ALL my grocery shopping at the weekend market near my house in Austin. Previously I’d buy only a few things that I felt were most necessary to buy at the market, such as meats and raw yoghurt, and do the rest of the shopping at the store because I thought it was a cheaper and more convenient way of filling my fridge.
Now you will rarely see me in the local H.E.B.
Throughout the week I write a list of things that we will need for the week ahead. On Saturday morning, we wake up early and take that list straight to the market for the opening time to get the best picks. When you get to know your local farmers (SO important), you can start coordinating during the week to ensure they will have everything you need ready to go. Some even DELIVER! Think UberEATS with farm fresh local goods.
Last week we came home with the most delicious raw & creamy yoghurt, pitchers of Kombucha, grass-fed meats (including bones for homemade bone broth), and mountains of organic veggies and fruits. We spent LESS than we would at the grocery store for over a week's worth of high-quality food.
Here are just a handful of reasons why I think shopping at the Farmers Market is simply the best:
* Supports local farms and businesses
With the large agribusiness dominating food production around the country, less than 1 million people now claim farming as their primary occupation. By supporting local farms and businesses, you are ensuring farm families can afford to stay on the farm, giving them a chance to compete against the big corporations and keeping farms in your community.
* Protects the environment
Most of the food you buy at the grocery store has traveled hundreds of miles to get there. In contrast, Farmer’s Market produce is sourced from local farms within a small radius. This significantly reduces the use of fossil fuels. Local farms also tend to practice organic methods, producing far less waste from pesticides and other chemical fertilizers. Since the markets are usually outside, they also use minimal electricity and heating. Further, cut your eco footprint by bringing your bags or boxes!
* You know exactly where your food came from & exactly what's in it
GET TO KNOW YOUR FARMER! This is one of the best parts of shopping at the market. You can build a relationship with the folks at your local farm and ask them questions about what their farming methods, what they feed their animals, if they avoid soy, GMOs, and other nasties, etc. If they are close by, you can even ask to visit the farm and check it out for yourself! There is also something cool about being friends with the hardworking team that produced the food in your fridge.
* Everything tastes better
Produce, meats; you name it; almost everything at the Farmer’s Market tastes better. Why? The food is fresher, hasn’t traveled hundreds of miles to get to you, isn’t sprayed with chemicals, and is harvested at its peak ripeness. Try making your favorite recipe using only ingredients from your local market and taste the difference!
* Meet awesome locals and make new connections
Farmer’s Markets are for everyone; you will meet people with different beliefs, interests, jobs, etc. The market is a great place to gather, and my local one has a weekly band, tables to mix and mingle and even events for the community to learn and grow together.
What’s your favorite part about your farmer’s market? What are your favorite farmer’s market finds? Be sure to post a picture or note below about your local market experience? That way, we all get a peek at farmers’ markets around the world!
Isabella Grace is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner focusing on toxin-free, natural living to its fullest extent. Her mission is to provide personalized integrative health solutions to create sustainable, lifelong change and enable you to live, love, and serve at your fullest health potential.
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