The leaves have turned into a medley of orange and yellow hues, and the mornings are getting just cool enough for a light jacket. That’s right, fall is here! And along with it are all the beautiful fall vegetables that we love so much.
But before you go running to the grocery store, check your area to see if there are any farmer’s markets nearby. Sure, I know you’ve heard it time and time again: shop local. But why? Shopping locally at a farmer’s market comes with a multitude of benefits, not just for them but for you too!
1. Better Taste
If your’e buying from a farmer, you’re essentially getting it right from the field. Without produce being shipped across long distances, it’s able to fully ripen right where it came from, giving you the best flavors it can.
2. ‘Tis the Season…
Buying from a farmer’s market means that you’re getting whatever is in season at the moment — which goes right back to taste. When a food is in season, that’s when you get the most vibrant flavors. Keep an eye out for things like buttnernut squash, zucchini, and of course… pumpkins!
3. Support Your Nearby Farmers
We see how factory farming dominates the food market, making it hard for small farms to stay in the game. Buying from them not only guarantees you better quality but also gives them a nicer return for their products. Cutting out the middle man also does you a favor because you’ll probably save quite a bit of money compared to your local grocery store.
4. Learn How to Prepare New Things
A lot of times, the people who sell to you have great tips on how to prepare their goods. They will hand out recipe cards, share family secrets, and teach you a thing or two about foods you may have never heard of before.
5. Local Honey — Enough Said
Honey bees have caused quite a stir in recent years, and for good reason. They are a huge pollinator, allowing us to have the lovely food you see at your local farmer’s market. However, factory harvesting has been devastating to bees as they are more susceptible to disease or death from long travel. Local honey done on a much smaller scale is a much better way to get your honey. Different varieties come from the different plants they pollinate in the area, and by eating local honey you can actually help your allergies! Eating honey from around you introduces you to the pollen nearby, which causes a lesser immune response during allergy season.
6. Enjoy Your Community
There is just something so wonderful about strolling around a farmer’s market, surrounded by all sorts of foods, taking in the sun. You get a breath of fresh air, a chance to see the faces of your community, and the feeling of being a part of something.
The reasons for shopping at farmer’s markets are plentiful — and whatever personally drives you is as good of a reason as any. So find out where your local market is and take a look at what your local farmers have to offer! You might just find something unexpectedly great.