4 Reasons to Buy Locally Grown Produce

farmers marketThere’s something so intrinsically satisfying about shopping at a farmers’ market. Whether it’s the seemingly lost art of making purchases with cash, chatting with the farmers about how their crops are grown, or sampling a juicy slice of peach as you walk by a table abundant with fresh fruit and veggies.

Maybe it’s the aroma the of kettle corn popping in the field next to the farmers’ tents, or the rustic wooden sign announcing the fresh-squeezed lemonade that makes you feel like you’ve stepped onto a fairground, and not into something as mundane as a grocery store.

Besides the experience, here are some benefits of shopping at a farmers’ market:

  • Fresh produce. Fruits & vegetables lose flavor and nutrients the moment they’re plucked from the ground or picked off a branch. It could take weeks for an apple picked in Washington to make it to the east coast. Imagine if you bit into that crisp, sweet apple just hours after it came off the tree. Plus, there’s no off-putting wax coating on the outside (a sad attempt to hold in the flavor).
  • Local agriculture. Buying locally not only gives you the freshest ingredients, it cuts down on cost and lessens the impact on the environment. Shorter transportation distances translate to lower fuel costs and less packaging. Keeping money in your local community helps keep your town economy thriving.
  • It’s cheap. When a farmer doesn’t have to pay to transport and distribute his goods, he can sell his produce at a lower cost and still put a profit in his pocket.
  • Variety. Farmers bring whatever’s fresh and growing well at any given time, which means you could find just about anything day to day.

Learn more about farmers’ markets with these resources:

Farmers’ Market Coalition

USDA

Local Harvest (To find a farmers’ market near you)

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