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Support local farmer’s markets

on Tuesday, 28 May 2019. Posted in Editorials, Opinions

Farmers’ markets are a summertime staple. Instead of just driving by, take some time to stop by and to see all the things they have to offer. Here’s four reasons why making the stop will be worth your while.

FOOD: The markets are a kind of show-and-tell for the year’s harvest, advertising what has been grown or made. You’ll also be face to face with someone who has put their time, effort, and care into growing, caring for, molding, or baking that product. You have the ability to ask questions, sample, or even converse with the seller or farmer.

This means that you can also try new products because you can ask how they can be used and find out new recipes to try. There are at least a few hundred ways to eat a homegrown tomato - and they are all good.

FRESHNESS: Food at farmers’ markets is at the peak or freshness. This means that your produce is at its most nutritious and flavorful. Since it’s locally grown, the produce doesn’t need to be shipped from great distances away so you are receiving the most amount of nutrients from the fruits and vegetables you buy.

FUNDS: Your taste buds and stomach will thank you for the visit to the farmer’s market, but your wallet will be happy as well. Your purchase cuts out the middle man, leaving more money in your pocket while handing your money directly to the person who produced what you are buying. You can see where your purchase is going: to feed that person’s family, pay their expenses, and to keep their farm or business going.

FARMING FAMILIES: While factory farms are important to sustaining the global population, now maybe more than ever, it is important to support local, family farms. Whole families work together to cultivate fields, raise animals, and keep their farms up and running all year round. Your purchase is a sign that you care about your neighbors, and you are helping them to succeed.

It’s easy to forget the time and effort that goes into getting your food from farm to table, but at the market, you can see directly where your food it coming from. Plus, you are helping to support your local economy.

You’ll also likely find lots of things for sale aside from fresh produce: Delicious baked goods and homemade crafts, from baskets to soap to quilts. A local woodworker may have some hand-carved items for sale.

Finally, the Farmers’ Market is a great way to celebrate community. The markets are a place where we not only can learn about the food we buy and eat, but also where we can get to know each other. The market is a place to congregate, to talk to a neighbor or a stranger, to listen to music, and, of course, grab something to eat. Stop by Julia Belle’s at the Pee Dee Sate Farmer’s Market in Florence. You won’t leave disappointed - or hungry.

This weekend, or any weekend, when you are wondering what to do, make the decision to visit a farmers market. It’ll be well worth it.

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