Farmer's Market Week Green - Our Daily Green

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Farmer's Market Week Green

August 1-7, 2010 is declared the National Farmer's Market Week by the Secretary of Agriculture. Our Daily Green did not personally need a national observance to celebrate the joys of farmer's markets, but the recognition is exciting. It's a fabulous way to support local business and enjoy a new (old) way to shop.

Shopping a farmer's market is like a trip back in time. The proprietors are also the people who raise the produce and flowers, tend the chickens, or bake the pastries. They possess a true pride in their merchandise and are happy to answer any questions, volunteer information, and offer samples before buying. Try to find assistance at a superstore or ask the clerk what time the corn was picked, or how to prepare a certain item. At a farmer's market, they encourage and educate their customers.

garden fresh produce
peppers, lettuce, beans, cucumbers
and tomatoes from both my garden
and our local market
One of the most exciting ways to get children to try new fruits or vegetables  is to take them to a farmer's market. The West Side Market in Cleveland was a local favorite when my children were small.  We'd wander up and down the aisles while the vendors offered samples of whatever produce they were selling that day. My children first tasted mango, pineapple, and apricots at the market. I learned how to make fiddlehead ferns. I tried purple potatoes and bought cases of fruit for freezer jam. The plethora of fresh food and enthusiasm of the proprietors is contagious.

Farmer's markets offer locally grown, in season, fresh vegetables and fruits. My personal experience is that the prices are competitive and often lower. This week, I bought a pint of fresh picked that morning raspberries for $2.00. Half a pint at the store was $4.00. While it's true that organic food can sometimes cost more, I view it as a built in "portion control". I'd rather eat less of something delicious and fresh than too much of something that costs less. Consider the "super sized" portions of anything when dining out. Sure the dollars paid is less, but the calories consumed is more.

If you've never patronized a farmer's market, take a few minutes this weekend and stock up. Treat yourself to some fresh food, bustling atmosphere and excellent service.

To FIND A FARMER'S MARKET near you, click the highlighted text.
LOCAL HARVEST also has a fabulous search engine.

Local Food and Local Farms Happy Eating!
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