Welcome Spring! Flowers bloom and gray winter skies are replaced with sunshine. Spring also marks the beginning of Farmers Market season. Across the country, empty parking lots are re-purposed into thriving hubs of activity. With an ever increasing percentage of the population adopting a Plant Based lifestyle, Farmers Markets will supply a larger portion of future food needs.
Farmers Markets offer several advantages to conventional grocery store shopping. One, produce is picked before ripe and shipped thousands of miles over several weeks or months before arriving on the grocery shelf. Farmers Market produce is often picked the day before sale, ensuring freshness and retaining nutritional value. Two, huge factory farms often use pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals to increase yield, appearance or shelf life of food. Shopping at a Farmers Market offers the opportunity to ask the farmer; how did you grow the food...what methods & chemicals did you use? Thirdly, shopping at a Farmers Market keeps money in the local economy. About 50 cents of every dollar spent at local independent businesses gets recirculated locally, compared to less than 15 cents at chain stores.
The National Farmers Market Directory, nfmd.org, offers a searchable database to find a Famers Market in your area. Take the kids as most markets offer face painting, balloon animals and other child friendly activities.
Food security is shifting back to the local level as dependence on food grown thousands of miles away is unsustainable. If not growing food in the backyard, the Farmers Market is the next best option. Meet the Farmer, keep food dollars in the local community, and be an active participant in the nourishment of body & soul. The children, community, and Farmers will thank you!
Your Plant Based Forks on the Road,
Matt & Erica, the Wandering Food Pharm
Matt & Erica are Plant Based Advocates, Writers & Wanderers always looking for the next adventure!