It’s National Farmers Market Week, how could I not write about it? The first farmers market was in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1730. Soon, people would say to one other meet me at the market. Decades later we are still meeting at the market, with just slightly better clothing. Farmers Markets are becoming for some people the only way they buy groceries. It’s just not for hipsters in Brooklyn or Celebs in LA. I live in Arizona and I know of 15 farmers markets in the metro area. I what I like the most about Farmers Markets is it’s an experience, like no other.
From Farm To Table
I think why farmers markets are becoming more common, is due to the fact you can actually talk to the farmers. In America, there is a huge disconnect between the consumer and producer. In one of my nutrition class, we talked about how there is a veil on the farming industry. With all these health documentaries the veil is slowly lifting. People want to know where their food is coming from.
The actually farmer might not be there, but someone from the farm will. You can talk to them and ask them how they grow their food. Like I mentioned before in my organic piece, getting USDA certified for organic is expensive. These smaller and local farms probably can’t afford it, but are organic. Talking to them can help clarify what products they use with their food.
Coolest Products Ever
Farmers markets have produce obviously, but there are also cool and unique small businesses. I have seen everything from salsa to hair care products. Anyone can buy Tostitos salsa; why not buy a salsa with some character. There is one farmers market in Arizona; it’s like the grand don of farmers markets. They have a veggie valet, where chef students can cut your veggies ……for free. Come on, you can’t get that at in a chain grocery store.
I came across a product called Iss’ Magic Mix. It’s oatmeal made by a local vegan restaurant. I went over to their booth and they gave you 5 different recipes that you could do with this oatmeal. I was intrigued when they told me the owner was a Register Dietician who made it for her diabetic father. I was like why not it’s $4.99. I used the pancake recipe with it and it was amazing. Even my diabetic mother liked it. Can’t get that in stores..
No Cash Needed
I always thought farmers markets were cash only. Most booths have a Square Reader and accept all major credit cards. You don’t have to worry about carrying cash. Farmers market tends to be expensive, but you’re cutting out the middleman and helping the farmers and small business.
A lot of farmers markets, even accept EBT cards (food stamps) and WIC benefits. You get more bang for your bucks, they allow you to double your food money for fresh fruits and veggies.
Hands down a farmers market have a great atmosphere. There are food trucks, music, and activities. You can’t go wrong with spending your Saturday mornings there. Grocery stores are more of an in and out, farmers markets are meant to be savored. Strolling up and down the aisles, talking with the merchants and learning not just buying.