Summer is the season of farmers markets: rows of white tents sheltering tables that overflow with colorful fruits and vegetables, homemade treats, and every type of local produce imaginable. A trip to the farmers market is a wonderful way to meet people in your community and stock up on all the fresh, local, organic produce you need for your kitchen. Every market is different, and your options will change from week to week, but there are a few staples you will always see. Here’s everything you’ll find at a farmers market—happy shopping!
The Freshest Picks of the Season
Many people go to farmers markets to get their fill of fruits, vegetables, and other produce straight from the garden. Purchasing these foods from the local market ensures that you’re filling your kitchen with recently harvested, seasonal produce. These options are often riper, fresher, and more nutritious than products that come from far-away commercial farms. You’re also more likely to see unique selections like multi-colored carrots, rare mushrooms, and other products that you can’t always get in the grocery store.
Local, Ethically Raised Animal Products
Many local farmers go beyond their gardens and raise livestock as well. Farmers markets let you purchase your meat, dairy, and other products from local, ethically raised animals. Like fresh fruits and vegetables, the eggs, milk, and meat you find at the market will be more nutritious and delicious than their commercial counterparts. In addition to better produce, this is also a great chance to support the farmers who provide such valuable products. For example, did you know that purchasing your honey from local beekeepers is one of the best ways to protect honey bees? By buying honey, meat, or dairy from farmers who take good care of their livestock, you help them continue to farm using these best practices.
Homemade Baked Goods
While not everything you’ll find at a farmers market is straight from the farm, it might still be straight from the kitchen. You can find baked goods such as pies, muffins, and other delectable treats at many a farmers market stall. You also be able to talk to the very baker who made them. You can swap recipes, ask about different ingredients, and even get their best suggestions on what to buy. Just be careful—once you find a favorite treat, it can be extremely hard to resist buying more with every visit.