Summer activities can be a pretty comprehensive list: swimming, camping, going out for ice cream. One task to add to your routine is to stop by your local farmer’s market. Often overlooked, farmer’s markets are a great resource to buy healthy food without breaking the bank!
VALLEY has compiled a list as to why farmer’s markets should be on your bucket list.
Perks of farmer’s markets
- They offer seasonal produce that is fresh and ripe. As the months pass, different plants can be harvested. This means what you buy is always at its prime.
- The products are best in flavor and nutrition. Buying local means your produce was picked very recently, not sitting in a truck or on shelves for extended periods of time before making its way into your kitchen. You can’t buy the farm-fresh flavor from the store.
- It’s an easy way to safely shop for groceries. Normally farmer’s markets are outside and it’s easy to keep 6 feet away from others. Many markets have already implemented safety measures to keep everyone safe.
- Shopping small supports local farms and the economy. You are putting money directly in the hands of family-owned businesses.
- Prices are often cheaper than store-bought products. When produce is in its prime, prices are low! If you need to shop on a budget, farmer’s markets are the place to go.
- It’s a great way to try new products and ask questions. The farmers often offer recommendations on how to prepare produce or new recipes to try. They love what they do and are happy to help!
- It strengthens the community. Going often can create a relationship between you and the vendors. It is also a great experience for your family or friends.
- It promotes sustainability. According to the Farmer’s Market Coalition, three out of four farmers who participate in farmer’s markets use organic standards for their products. This is a great way to be exposed to sustainable living!
- It’s better for the environment. Shopping at a store involves plastic packaging for each item. Shopping locally often include reusable bags, less plastic and less pollution from overall food production.
- They have a wide variety of products. Farmer’s markets are not exclusively fruits and vegetables. You can often find meat, dairy products, baked goods, wine, spices and herbs, plants etc.
If you’re not sure where the nearest farmer’s market is to you, check out the USDA National Farmer’s Market Directory. State College has a weekly farmer’s market, information can be found here. For more information on eating healthy, go to the US Department of Agriculture’s nutrition page.