Why I Love (and Hate, precisely Mostly Love) the Farmers' Market

It’s or then other beautiful summertime Saturday, too this i started every bit most do for me hither inwards Northern Virginia: amongst a walk to the farmers’ marketplace position virtually ¾ of a mile from my house. (Lucky me!) It was alone a few years agone that I started taking wages of these footling gems rather than heading to the large supermarket yesteryear default. I’m no nutrient saint, too I yet instruct or then things from the common megamarts, but I actually bask the farmers’ markets, specially inwards summer, when the bounty of beautiful, fresh attain is unmatched too beats anything yous tin forcefulness out instruct from the large box stores.

Here’s a few reasons why I brand a betoken of going to the marketplace position dainty & early a Sabbatum morning:

  • I similar supporting the local growers/producers. I dearest knowing that my money goes direct into the hands of the people who raised the animals, grew the produce, too created the other artisanal goods available, rather than existence siphoned off yesteryear a hundred middlemen then that what winds upwards inwards the pockets of the people who made these wonderful, nourishing foods is a pittance compared to what got earmarked for the PR subdivision of or then zillion-dollar corporation. Not that I receive got anything against gigantic corporations, but when it comes to my food, I similar the provide chain to live little too local every bit much every bit possible.
  • Remember: a condom nutrient provide is golden. The powerfulness to grow or procure one’s ain nutrient is riches. Healthy soil too grass-based livestock farms are wealth. ‘Cuz yous know what? You can’t swallow dollar bills. Small scale farmers are our country’s life insurance. Should the you-know-what hitting the fan someday, these people volition live our saviors. If at that topographic point should come upwards a time—whether due to politics, economics, or natural disasters—when  we can’t rely on our international go-to merchandise partners for food, nosotros volition await to our own. And if nosotros don’t back upwards them now, amongst our dollars too our patronage, they won’t live hither when nosotros demand them. We’ve gotta back upwards these small, local producers or they’ll all live gone too we’ll receive got no pick but to instruct our nutrient from sources nosotros can’t necessarily trust every bit much every bit someone who lives inwards the adjacent town over too whose reputation is based on his relationships amongst his customers. These are people nosotros tin forcefulness out await inwards the eyes too milkshake hands with.
  • I dearest the variety. I’ve seen vegetables at the farmers’ marketplace position I’ve never seen anywhere else. If you’ve alone always shopped for fruit too vegetables at the supermarket, yous tin forcefulness out live forgiven for non knowing that squelch comes non alone inwards the common forms of zucchini, xanthous squash, acorn, butternut, too other wintertime varieties, but also inwards white, round, too pattypan—versions you’re non probable to come across inwards too many other places. Also, eggplant? Not only nighttime purple. It comes inwards low-cal purple, white, green, too fifty-fifty tiger-striped. There are also circular too oblong skinny shapes, every bit good the common “globe” eggplant yous come across at your supermarket. (They all sense of savor similar eggplant; or then are only sweeter than others, or then receive got fewer seeds, etc.)

Good luck finding or then of these varieties at the supermarket!

These, too.
And tomatoes? Don’t instruct me started! I know yous know virtually ruddy too dark-green ones, but yellow? Orange? Pink? Kinda purple? Striped? Yes, yes, yes, yes, too yes.

Yes, these crazily colored things are tomatoes.

So are all of these.

Ever heard of Smokehouse apples? Or Elstar? Me neither. Interesting novel hybrids yous definitely won’t uncovering amoung the common ol’ Red Delicious too Granny Smith at the store.

  • I similar knowing the materials is fresh. No, it probable wasn’t picked that really morning, or fifty-fifty the twenty-four lx minutes catamenia before, but it was likely yet inwards the ground, or on the vine, stalk, bush, or tree only a few days before it appears inwards the bins too on the tables at the market. No international transportation for these gems, too no sitting for who-knows-how-long inwards a warehouse somewhere. Some nutrients degrade over time, y’know, then the fresher yous tin forcefulness out instruct your food, the better. In my opinion—and it is only that, my opinion—local nutrient trumps certified organic. Why? Well, the truth is, most small-scale farmers do purpose organic practices but the paperwork too bureaucratic hoop-jumping required (not to cite $$) to instruct official USDA certification are then onerous, fourth dimension consuming, too expensive, that it’s only non worth it for the smaller guys. And fifty-fifty if they do purpose or then synthetic pesticides too fertilizers, it’s likely a far smaller amount than the large boys who are producing things on an ├╝ber-massive scale. I’d rather swallow a conventionally grown cucumber that came from a farm inside 150 miles of me, than a certified organic i that was shipped from 3000 miles away too has been sitting inwards a hot transportation container or warehouse for weeks. (I’ll skip the fossil fuel too “food miles” combat for now. My approach to all this stems to a greater extent than oftentimes than non from my feelings virtually nutrition too local economics.)
  • And last, but non least: FREE SAMPLES!  (HA! Just kidding. Mostly.) 
Whee! Free samples! If yous idea gratis nutrient would halt existence a draw 
after college, you’re wrong.  ;-)

And why do I not similar farmers’ markets? 
  • Simple:  too much skillful materials to select from! I am cooking for i these days, too when everything is then colorful too then amazing looking, it’s difficult non to overbuy. Things rarely become bad inwards my house, but I do receive got to instruct creative sometimes inwards gild to purpose things before they do. Curse these darn farmers for growing such beautiful vegetables too fruit, for culturing such incredible yogurt, too for raising their cows, chickens, pigs, too sheep inwards the sunshine too eating their natural diets. They instruct inwards too piece of cake to live overwhelmed yesteryear nutrient awesomeness too purchase means to a greater extent than than i someone needs each week. (My coworkers are sometimes the beneficiaries of my eyes existence bigger than my appetite, when I brand something yummy too guide it to the office.)
So difficult to decide!
  • A 2nd argue I don’t similar farmers’ markets is all the other people who dearest shopping there! Those footling cordoned-off streets tin forcefulness out instruct mighty crowded! I attempt to instruct inwards at that topographic point inwards the before hours to avoid weaving inwards too out of lots of people (not to cite dogs!)  taking their time, meandering hither too there, slow taking inwards the gorgeous bounty before them. Don’t instruct me wrong. For reasons discussed above, I dearest that to a greater extent than too to a greater extent than people are coming out to these markets too getting their nutrient from the local producers. But in i trial inwards a while, it takes an experience that is otherwise uplifting too soul-refreshing for me, too makes it variety of aggravating. Nevertheless, when it comes to a local market, the to a greater extent than the merrier! I’ll instruct over it.  ;-)

For a hilarious (yet utterly serious) trouble concern human relationship of what not to inquire a farmer at your local market, read Forrest Pritchard’s guide here. (P.S. He wrote a book, too it is AMAZING. Review coming soon…I’m yet reading it.)

Is at that topographic point a skillful marketplace position inwards your area? Do yous similar to go? Why or why not? Share your thoughts inwards the comments. 

Now that’s what I telephone band a nutrient pyramid! (A footling crooked, sure, too it’s missing vital members such every bit meat, seafood, nuts, eggs, too other swell stuff. I’m only making a point.)
P.S. Not pictured: a duo of vendors selling fresh artisan bread, cookies, too pies, addition all the fruit. (Why? Well, I swallow really footling of those, then I didn't receive got emmet pics of 'em today.) Also, a few people selling unique spice blends, small-batch sauces too marinades, etc. The marketplace position inwards my neighborhood doesn't receive got whatsoever dairy vendors, too alone i meat vendor amongst a really little selection.  :-(   But that's okay. When I desire or then actually skillful meat, I become to the marketplace position inwards Arlington too instruct dairy from this place, too meats from this one. (Except when I'm feelin' specially frisky too receive got a receive out to this farm too purchase direct from the store correct on site.) 

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