Green Your Summer: Shop Locally

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.

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8 thoughts on “Green Your Summer: Shop Locally

  1. Thanks for the mention! We LOVE our market. There must be 75 vendors now that it is summer, if not more.

    The one thing I don’t quite get – and I need to start asking these farmers – is that I read all the time how the farmers market is cheaper than the grocery store due to reduced overhead. It isn’t where we are – not at all! e.g. it is asparagus season right now and Mrs. SPF can’t get enough of the stuff. We can get Ontario grown @ the grocery store for $1.50 but it is $3.50 at the market! We’d prefer to support the local guy but then we’d be contradicting the sustainable half of our PF reality. Not sure why this is …

    • That’s a pretty big market! I’ve always wondered why things are more expensive at the market as well – they still do have to pay local sales taxes, etc, but at my market, space rental costs like $10 per tent.
      Thanks for stopping by SPF!

  2. I used to go to the farmers market more but now between growing my own veggies and being part of a CSA I don’t have much of a need. I do shop at a store though that used local suppliers for things like pastas, spreads, etc.

  3. We considered signing up for a CSA when we lived in Maine but it was too much money for us. We ended up growing our own veggies and not only was it insurance for our health because they were organic it leads to savings in your bank account. A win-win!

  4. I love farmers markets! I’ve been going twice a week lately. Prices are a bit steep but most of the vendors give out generous free samples and the quality of the fruits and veggies is great and worth the price. Cherries have been great the last few weeks. Is the one you go to year round or just during summer?

  5. Living in Singapore, we don’t have as many options as we would living in Canada or the US, but we do have a few organic farms on the island and daily markets where the food is brought in from Thailand and Malaysia. My wife loves to get our fruits and vegetables at these markets. Part of it has to do with buying fresh produce that hasn’t traveled too far, but the other side is the personal relationship she creates with each stall owner.

  6. I used to go to farmer’s markets in Ca but since we moved to NY we have not found one good farmer’s market. We have started growing our own fruit and vegetables instead.

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