Spring is in the air and vibrant colors are taking over. Let’s carry those colors into your food! Take a look around your neighborhood supermarket and notice all the fruits and vegetables that are in season right now. Don’t they look delicious? Well, perhaps not as yummy or satisfying as making a home-cooked meal made with fresh produce from your local farmer’s market this weekend.
Benefits of a Farmer’s Market
Not much can beat a local farmer’s market, but many of them have limited operating hours compared to supermarkets. However, if you can plan around those limited hours, you will get to reap all of the amazing nutritional and communal benefits they have to offer. What was once a hectic Thursday night trip to the grocery store can be a fun weekend outing with your family, experiencing all the fresh sights and smells of shopping locally.
Fresher, Riper Food
Produce at the grocery store is often several days old before it hits shelves. Farmers’ markets, on the other hand, have a much more direct shipping process, ensuring the food you pick out is as fresh as possible. Fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets are also a lot riper, often picked at the peak of their ripeness when the plant’s natural sugars are maximized. This also promises the most nutritional value (more vitamins and antioxidants).
More Texture, Better Flavor
Compare an apple from a farmer’s market to one from a supermarket grocery store. The apple from the market will likely be juicier, sweeter, and a lot more crispy without a bunch of soft spots. The one from the grocery store might be larger, but it won’t compare to the freshness of the market apple. That is the beauty of fresh and local food. Farmer’s market produce makes for wonderful cooking ingredients!
It is no secret that fruits and vegetables can rack up dollars on your supermarket bill. Five dollars for a small bag of potatoes isn’t unheard of! Some grocery stores are even charging $11.00 for a standard bag of green grapes. Farmers’ markets can cut your wallet some slack, on the other hand, because their foods are generally a lot less expensive than conventionally grown produce.
More Options to Choose from
How many times has a recipe called for a specific ingredient like butternut squash, but you couldn’t find it at your grocery store? Since farmers’ markets specialize in produce, they typically offer a larger variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and select goods. You might even find three or more different versions of the same food!
The Whole Experience
Do you actually enjoy going to the grocery store, especially on a bustling weekend afternoon? The experience can be quite stressful with high costs, big crowds, and the feeling of grocery shopping being a chore. However, the rich sights and smells of farmers’ markets can make them a fun and memorable experience for your family that also serves your local community. They connect you to your food and show you more about where your food comes from, and this knowledge will help your family learn the building blocks of nutrition.
This spring and summer, don’t miss out on the chance to shop seasonally with your family at your local farmer’s market! Take everyone to go pick out their favorite ingredients and work together to create delicious new recipes. Farmers’ markets are not only healthy and good for your community, but they are good for learning where your food comes from.