Let's review why you should RUN, not walk, to the farmers market:
- Time to table - food picked this morning, or yesterday. You can't beat that. Grocery store foods spend time in trucks and in distribution centers for days. They should spend that time in your house or better yet, get them in your belly before they'd even get to the store!
- Travel to table & carbon footprint - how much fossil fuel does it take to get your food to your fridge?!? Read labels and boxes - Product of Chile, California, etc.
- Saves money & keeps your money local - there's no middleman, no upstream, you pay less for better produce, and it all goes to the farmer. You might think you're paying the same price, but farmers are far more generous with their bundles than the grocers — as things spoil your bundles get smaller at the supermarket.
- Wider variety - not all foods are tolerant of manhandling, travel, and time-to-market. You can find not only fresher foods, but a wider variety of foods, and many heirlooms and richly nutritious varieties, at a farmers' market. When you don't recognize something you have the right person to ask right in front of you. They grew it!
- Healthier - for many of the reasons above. Volatile nutrients are still available, variety in your diet, fresher food, and so on.
- Encourages eating your veggies. Take your kids along, let them pick out the things they like or want to try, but steer them clear of the baked goods booths. Give them a "farmstand budget" to spend on fresh produce, even if it all gets spent on berries. Let them ask the farmer for suggestions. For example, if they know they don't like bitter -- the farmer can steer them towards sweet or mild vegetables.
There are also MANY farmstands at the farms in the area where they are open daily. Keep an eye out for them, put them in the comments. We want to know!