Readers: I hope you’ve been enjoying the green your summer series this will (most likely) be the last installment, if you’re looking for the others, head over here.
As I mentioned in the post about signing up for a CSA, one of the largest contributors to your personal environmental footprint is your food. Typically, food travels about 1500 miles to get from the farm to your plate, and makes different stops along the way for processing. Shopping at your farmers market can take this number down quite a bit, depending on where you live (some farmers at my local market travel 200+ miles to get to my market).
However, a farmers market is still a great place to get food, provided it is reasonably priced. First, you’ll be able to chat with whoever is selling at the stand, talk a bit about where they come from, the crops they grow, the history of the farm, and other things about about themselves. While this has no bearing on the type of food you get or the quality, it seems to make quite a few people feel better about themselves and their food, and they are willing to pay slightly higher costs for this.
The most important thing for me is that no one is jerking around with your food. There’s no middle man. The farmer (or one of his employees) has probably ripped the food out of the ground (or off the tree) very recently, so you’ll get fresh food that has no additives or anything like that – it’s just been sitting in a basket for a car ride. Due to this fact, the food you’ll get at a farmers market is typically fresher than you’ll get elsewhere, which is always nice – great for canning or just plain eating!
In my area, the farmers market is like a social event as well – you get to hang out downtown, see all of your friends and neighbors, and catch up on the goings on of the week (mine is on saturday morning). Even fellow yakezie member (and good friends) Mr & Mrs SPF shop at the farmers market – though we dont shop at the same one.
Readers: Do you shop at the farmers market? If so, how often and what for? Typically I try to buy only things I cant get in the store, but occasionally get a few things on a whim as well.