I am a big proponent of farmers’ markets. I know, I know, this is very California of me. However, farmers markets are located throughout the world and are a great alternative to traditional grocery stores. Here in LA there is one everyday of the week somewhere in the city. Often the largest/ most popular are on weekends. I love spending a lazy weekend morning perusing the local fruits and vegetables- dreaming up some exciting new delicacy for Lukus and I to try. There are a multitude of benefits to shopping at a farmers’ market over your typical grocery store. But there are things to know before you go!
5 things to know about farmers’ markets:
- Farmers’ Markets are greener than your average grocery store (and I am not talking about leafy vegetables). Because the produce is sold by the actual growers, it travels less distance. As a result less energy is used in getting dinner on your table, making it a greener alternative to food harvested on the other side of the world.
- Local food is fresh food. That means, if you buy a peach at your farmers market it may have been harvested as recently as that morning! Food at your grocery store has much further to travel and accordingly is much older by the time it is at the store. Fresh produce is richer in vitamins and tastes better.
- When you buy at a farmers’ market you are buying directly from the farmer, which means you cut out the middleman. So, you would think it would be cheaper. Honestly, it depends on the farm stand. On the whole my experience has been that the vegetables are cheaper, but the fruit is equivalent to that at the grocery store.
- Local produce is seasonal produce. That means all types of fruits/ veggies are not available year round, but only when they are in season. I think this is a good thing because it allows you to buy food when it is truly at its peak of freshness.
- Give yourself time to enjoy! If you have local fantastic farmers markets, make an event of it. Give yourself time to walk the entire stretch. Check out the fishmonger, or the local florist or even the honey vendor. Also plan to have breakfast/brunch/lunch there. Suddenly shopping for groceries is less of an errand and more of an affair!