For many people summer is marked by the end of school or the first visit to the local beach but for those who wait all winter for fresh, local ingredients it all begins with the opening of the summer farm markets.
These lovely local markets offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the farm and deliver to us a bounty of foods that can’t be found at our local grocery store. Many markets now carry artisanal cheeses, baked goods, humanely raised poultry and beef as well as non-food items such as flowers and honey. So what is the appeal of the market when we are surrounded by grocery stores? Simply put, buying carrots and broccoli has now become a recreational activity. Markets are for the lazy days when we can linger and mingle. We can sip a coffee, chat with the farmers, meet our neighbors and maybe even be entertained by a musician and all the while we are stocking our fridges with the very best ingredients we can find.
Better Living. Better Eating.: Fresh & Local
Farmer’s markets are a traditional way of selling agriculture in order to help the farmer as an additional means of income. While they have been in existence as long as farming itself, they did suffer from a drop in popularity after the introduction of the supermarkets and the commercialization of agriculture. The last decade has seen a renewed interest in shopping at local markets as people have an awakening interest in food. Farmers can also thank well known and celebrity chefs for their rise in popularity. Restaurants have been known for some time what many of us are just learning and that is that locally grown food is superior in taste because it is seasonal and fresh. At the same time, we are helping to reduce our carbon footprint by buying local.
Tips for Farm Market Shopping Success
Now that you’re ready to head out to the local farm market there are a few tips that will help you to become a successful market shopper. According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, it’s important to bring along your own cloth bags as well as a cooler for meats or poultry. They also suggest bringing along cash in small denominations and always shop early if you’re looking for the best variety. Check out the Discover link below for more!
by Carol Smyth