Enjoy Farmers' Market Season

by Cait Sheppard, RD
Vertex Education Ambassador, Nutrition

With summer officially here, my favorite Saturday morning activity has begun: farmers’ markets! Chances are your town, or a close neighboring one, has a farmers’ market. If you’ve never been to one, rest assured, it is not a market where farmers shop. Instead, it is magical market where local farmers and craftspeople bring their goods to sell. Farmers’ markets are great!

The produce is typically higher quality.
Local produce doesn’t have to travel far so it is picked and immediately sold at the market. Additionally, produce typically loses nutritional quality during transportation in general. Shopping local will give you better tasting produce and you won’t feel rushed to use them!

Children can try new foods.
Farmers’ markets are a fun environment for children to pick new fruits and vegetables to try. Many stands hand out samples and it’s a great opportunity to ask the farmer questions about their produce, which may spark curiosity.

Support your local economy.
Shopping locally keeps your money in your local economy. By supporting local farms, you help their growth which can lead to more jobs in your area. While some think farmers’ markets are more costly, you usually get more product for the price in comparison to grocery stores. It’s a win-win situation!  Get more bang for your buck and your buck makes a bigger bang for the community!

It may even be better for the environment.
Products purchased at farmers’ markets (produce, meats, and eggs) have traveled less distance than the products purchased at grocery stores. Shorter distances equal decreased transportation, which means less fossil fuel usage, less pollution from the trucks, less packaging of the produce, and less waste.

Tips for shopping at farmers’ markets:

  • Bring a reusable tote bag or 2 with you as some stands do not provide bags.
  • During the summer months, consider bringing a cooler with you for perishable items.
  • If purchasing meat, dairy, or eggs, do so at the end of your outing, especially in the summer months.
  • Take a quick stroll around the farmers’ market before purchasing anything. There may be the same items at multiple stands, giving you the chance to assess price and quality before buying.
  • You may be able to purchase a large quantity of an item. If so, consider freezing it for later use.

Thanks to Our Education Ambassador Sponsor