Everyone has a favorite season. Some love summer with sandy floorboards while others opt for fall with a pumpkin spice latte in hand. My favorite season is April – November…farmers’ market season.
My weekly farmers’ market trip
Every Friday and Saturday I go to the farmers’ market with my husband. One is just down the street from where we live in a shopping center parking lot and the other is only a few miles away in the local mall parking lot. I love getting a week’s worth of crisp apples, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, yellow squash, purple potatoes and juicy nectarines. I even came home with a slab of bacon after our last trip!
Although the delicious fruits, vegetables and meats are more than enough reason to keep going back, my favorite part is getting to meet and talk to farmers. Many of them are with their children, teaching them to run the register, help customers pick out the best tomato and answer questions about how their food is grown. It’s great to see my urban neighbors taking the opportunity to talk about where their food comes from.
Farmers’ markets connect the public to agriculture
Farmers load up their vehicles, hauling crates and coolers of food to nearby cities and towns. The white-topped tents go up and the fun begins! I walk around to every booth with my neon teal, reusable shopping bags (when I remember them!) deciding what to cook for the week based on what I see. One of the farmers I visit every Saturday is from Fredrick, Maryland and he always has the best honeynut squash. He also sells sweet potatoes, so I’ve been baking homemade sweet potato muffins every week. They make the perfect breakfast on the go! Another farmer is from West Virginia and I always make sure to go by his booth to get the sweetest peaches.
With not many people being raised on a farm anymore, farmers’ markets are a great opportunity to connect with farmers and agriculture. This is especially true if you can’t fit a farm tour into your busy schedule.
There are a lot of food myths out there, so it’s nice to get information straight from the source. While some farmers prefer to grow their vegetables or raise their pigs a certain way, they all care about agriculture and want to provide the best food they can to the public. Farmers are constantly thinking about environmental stewardship and animal welfare. It’s how they ensure their farm stays successful for years to come.
From the farmers’ market to the grocery store
Afterwards my husband and I head to the grocery store to get things like bananas, milk, bread, yogurt and other foods we consider weekly staples to go along with our farmers’ market picks.
Grocery and meal kit delivery are becoming increasingly popular, but I prefer venturing out myself. I love going up and down each and every aisle, even if I only have three items on my list. My husband hates this, but there’s just something about looking at all the different types of food that captivates me. I will definitely miss going to the farmers’ market every weekend once November is here, but I know my food is safe, nutritious and supporting farmers wherever I buy it.
All posts are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of the Animal Ag Alliance.