The Farmer’s Market season is in full swing. Some start earlier and some start later, but right now all the local farmer’s markets are open for business. If you haven’t been to a local market yet, you have been missing out!
There are several good reasons to visit a farmer’s market:
- Fresh food – Most of the produce you see at a farmer’s market was in the ground earlier that morning. Talk about fresh!
- Local – There’s nothing like buying food that was grown by someone you can look in the eye and shake their hand. It also supports the local economy and helps feed and employ local farmers, most of which are small family operations.
- Information – When you buy from a local grower, you can bet they know all about the foods they sell. Ask them how the crop is grown, how to use it, how to store it, anything you want.
- Education – Farmer’s Markets are a great place for kids to learn about where food comes from and how it gets to the dinner plate.
- Healthy and Organic – Most of the local farmers grow their crops organically, and even those that don’t still don’t use nearly the volume of chemicals the large corporate farms do.
- Crafts – Not only can you buy produce. There are also locally grown ornamental plants, hand-made crafts and other local fare.
- Fun! – Many of the farmer’s markets have music and other entertainment!
- Community – Farmer’s markets are one of the best ways to draw communities closer together. You might just make a new friend!
In Pierce county we are blessed with several farmer’s markets. Here’s a list of all Pierce County Farmers Markets. If you are new to markets, you may not be aware they aren’t all on Saturday mornings. Almost every day of the week you can find at least one farmer’s market that is open. Some are in the morning, some in the evening. There’s bound to be at least one that you can get to.
What kinds of food can you expect at a farmer’s market? Here’s a sampling of what you can get from the local farmers’ markets in June and July:
Apricots, Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Basil, Green Beans, Beets, Blackberries, Blueberries, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflour, Chard, Cherries, Cucumbers, Fennel, Greens, Herbs, Lavender, Lettuce, Marionberries, Onions, Peas, Peaches, Peppers, Radishes, Raspberries, Spinach, Summer squash, Strawberries, tomatoes, Turnips and Zucchini. Phew, that’s a lot! And there’s more coming later in the summer and fall!
And make sure to check out this list of the local markets, visit their web pages and see what all they have to offer. Then, make a goal to visit at least one farmer’s market this summer. If you already regularly go to one of the local markets, try branching out to sample another one in the area. Every market has its own flavor, personality and specialties.
Tell us about your experiences with farmer’s markets in the comments!