Here are just a few ways your purchases could have an huge impact:
Support your Local Community
When giving your dollars to someone local versus a national retailer, it is more likely to stay in your local community.
The grower will use their profit from the market to reinvest into their business to continue to serve community. But, they also will us it visit restaurants, hairdressers, or send their kids to dance lessons in your town. This keeps people in your town employed and those amenities that you love in business.
Whereas, if purchasing though a major retailer, a few of your dollars will be used as wages or even corporate donations but well over half of them will be shipped out of your community.
Limit Your Global Footprint
Barbra Kingsolver makes a great case for consuming food that comes from your local community within the first few pages of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
She writes, “If every US citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meat and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by 1.1 million barrels of oil every week.”
A typical meal travels 1,500 miles (more miles than most American’s travel on yearly vacations) to get to your plate consuming natural resources and adding to pollution every mile.
The Learning Experience
Whether you are introduced to a new vegetable like fennel or kohlrabi or just getting a better understanding of seasonality, the farmer’s market can teach consumers a lot about food.
The farmer’s also are very knowledgeable about cooking their produce or meat and will happily share tips so that you have a great experience with their products.
Get to Know the Farmer
The Farmer’s Market is nice because it gives you a bit of a “behind the scenes” peak at your food as it introduces you to the person who is responsible for it.
You get to meet the person who planted and cared for the growing seed. You can talk with the person who feeds the chickens everyday.
Many of the farms at the market are family run farms that are trying to stay competitive in a global food market. It is so great to start to build a relationship with them and know that you are directly impacting a person who is passionate and transparent.
Superior Taste and Nutrition
Fun fact: I used to think I hated berries. Strawberries, Blueberries, raspberries. Whatever. Not my thing. Then I had a seasonal, just picked blueberry and my life changed. The taste of a fruit or a vegetable that has just been picked is vastly different than something that has sat for weeks in storage. And, when just picked, nutritional elements are at their peak.
Fresh food, from your community, gives new meaning to “real” food.
Not to mention, fewer chemicals- if any at all- are used at the Farmer’s Market as the produce does not have to be waxed or gassed in order to survive shipping and shelf life.
Honestly, who really enjoys the grocery store? It’s always freezing cold, no one talks to each other, artificial lights shine bright, everyone is in a rush and it always seems just a little stale. At the Farmer’s Market, things are alive! The food isn’t packaged, letting shoppers use all their senses to see, feel, smell and even sometimes taste it. People shop as a family and visit with friends.
You feel more connected to not just your community, but also to the earth, thanks to the shining sun and fantastic produce, meats, cheeses and artisan products available for purchase. I know that I always feel renewed after a busy, stressful week visiting such a positive, happy place.
Mind, body and spirit and beyond the Farmer’s Market is a great place to spend the weekend.
Show off you farmer’s market finds and join our local food challenge running the month of August! Use #bentarrowchallenge2018 on Instagram for a chance to win prizes all month long including some from our great friends at Nature Supply Company!
-- Claire Trost
Bent Arrow Acres