Now that the weather has warmed up, I am revisiting a post I started back in the deep winter of January.
Farmer’s Markets are a great way to find locally produced fruits, vegetables, meats and other products. These markets are often the only way to find heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables that our forefathers took for granted. You will also generally find more variety if you are looking for Organic or hormone/pesticide free food.
The produce varieties in your local supermarket have been selected not for taste or nutrition, but based on what varieties ship well, resist bruising and those that finish ripening off the plant. Local food on the other hand can be picked at their peak as the time from farm to table is much shorter than those foods shipped from several states away.
Another benefit to frequenting your local farmer’s market is that you are supporting your local businesses. Each dollar you spend supports a local business rather than supporting a larger corporation whose headquarters are often in another state.
If you enjoy bargaining or bartering, you’ll likely not be able to exercise those hobbies at your local MegaMart, but most vendors at a farmer’s market readily accept other mediums of exchange than your Federal Reserve notes and are generally willing to reduce their price a bit based on how much or what you are buying. Once you develop a relationship with vendor by frequenting their booth for a few months, you’ll often find that their prices have gotten even better for you.
Another great thing about Farmers Markets is that they are very family oriented. You will often find fun entertainment from local bands or performers, usually a bluegrass band or small country group. Farmers Markets are often held at parks where kids can run and play and enjoy some fresh food for lunch. Many of the vendors will hand your kids a piece of fruit or other food to munch on while you’re visiting their booth.
Once you’ve stocked up on loads of local, fresh food, you can easily add them to your longer term food storage. Look at our Adding to your long term supply using dehydration post from January for some great ideas on adding fresh foods to your storage by dehydrating or canning them.
If you aren’t sure where your nearest Farmer’s market is, you are in luck, the following Utah.gov site lists all the Farmer’s Markets registered in Utah. Most run from May through October or November so you’ll need to plan on stocking up during that time frame.
Find the market nearest you, give it a try and let us know what you think!