No matter where you live, you are never far away from a bustling Farmers Market. It could be just around the corner or a couple of kilometers down the road but it will always be full of a small collection of passionate people who work for themselves, providing you with their latest seasonal crop or new taste sensation coming out of their kitchen. For the majority of our Foodies it is the only way they can gain access to you directly. You, the person who cares about where your food comes from and what goes into your food and you the person the Foodies are working hard for…
So, here is my question again. Farmers Markets… who needs them? In fact we all do and I know for a fact they most certainly need you and here is why:
1) You are supporting family farmers and small artisan producers
Family farmers and small artisan producers need your support. In times of fierce competition and large corporations dominating food production, smaller growers and producers have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from the producers gives them a better return for their hard work and for us, knowing that your money is going into the hands of those who are working hard to make a living is totally satisfying.
2) You discover variety… the spice of life
At the farmers markets you get to see different produce than at the supermarkets. Small producers often take the time and energy to focus on long forgotten heirloom varieties, or organic/pesticide free farming methods or breeding programs. There are often foods available that you will not normally find in stores i.e. quails eggs, a huge variety of Gluten Free and Raw/Paleo baking treats, fresh, delicious and more often than not handmade/hand grown.
3) You nourish yourself
Most of the food at farmers markets is relatively unprocessed and many of the farmers and producers go to great lengths to ensure that the food you are buying is as nutritious as it could be. They often use sustainable methods and pick/bake the produce right before the market for optimal freshest while minimalising negative effects on our health caused by over processing or by adding additives and preservatives.
4) You get to taste real flavours
You can bet your bottom dollar that the the fruit and vegetables you buy at the farmers markets are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruit and vegetable direct from the grower are given time to ripen fully in the field before purchase. There is no produce sitting in storage or on a shelf for weeks. It is as fresh from the farm or kitchen.
5) You get to enjoy the seasons
The food you buy from the farmers market is seasonal. It reflects the deliciousness of the season when you can buy the fruits, vegetables. preserves (no waste from last season), fruit filled pastries that are available here and now. It helps you reconnect with nature and what is available to eat during natures natural cycles, when it is at it’s best i.e. asparagus in spring, tomatoes in high summer, feijoas in autumn, pumpkin in winter.
6) You know where your food comes from
At the farmers markets you get to meet the farmers and the artisans where you can gather useful information about the product you are buying. It is a great opportunity to talk to the person behind the food to gather cooking tips and tricks and to also to hear their story behind the decision to bring you the best that they have to offer.
7) You connect with your community
Farmers markets are a great place to meet family, friends, neighbours or relative strangers you see regularly doing what you do… supporting the people in your community by strengthening the local economy and keeping your hard earned dollars at home.
8) You are doing your bit to protect the environment
Lastly, food at the farmers markets are local producers who use sustainable methods that have minimal impact on earth. Food spends less time on the road which lessens pollution and there is less packaging to throw away in the landfills and less food waste due to over production of unfilled orders – it’s as simple as that.
So, what are you waiting for… leave the supermarket for toilet paper, grab a hessian shopping bag and hunt down your local farmers market.
But before you do, go and have a look at our Foodies pages to see who is where when – if they are not at a farmers market near you, order online and they can pop something in the post to you.