Farmer’s markets have been around for decades, if not longer, but it seems in modern America, more pop up each year. With the people and farmers of both the smallest towns and biggest cities coming together for a few hours a week to daily to provide their peers with their homegrown, locally sourced products. Not only have more people becoming interested in growing or raising their own food, the demand has also increased as people become more socially and healthy conscious.
Food that is grown locally, without the addition of harmful chemicals and pesticides are sweeping the nation. Organic, once a word that only the most upper class could find in their refrigerators has become a buzzword for healthy. While organic can be a loose term, that doesn’t stop people from wanting to get their hands on it, and when it comes from a local farm, it makes it all the most desirable.
People like knowing from where their food comes from, and for many, supporting their neighbors and own state is a huge part of not only eating healthy, but encouraging small business and stimulating the local economy. Farmers markets hit all these things on the head, and farmers benefit from selling directly to their customer rather than having their product change hands. They know that their product is being stored properly, treated properly, and making it into the hands of their customers in the way they intended.
For anyone who has visited a farmers market know just how many delicious things they can get their hands on, but for those who are new to the concept, they may enjoy some of the following items:
Cheese: For cheese lovers, the options found at a local farmer’s market may just be some of the most delectable. Some are fresh options for classics, while others utilize the local offerings to make uncommon combinations like blueberry goat cheese.
Eggs: Farmers markets are a trove of eggs that never hit the supermarket shelves. From the tiny quail egg, to the gigantic egg of the ostrich, whatever your needs for eggs, there will be something to complete your meal.
Fresh Fruit: Depending on the locations, farmers markets in the south may be overflowing with citrus, while those in cooler climates enjoy the autumn bounty of more varieties of fresh apples than most people know existed.
Fresh Vegetables: Like fruits, the spread of vegetables at a farmer’s market changes with the location and season. Corn dominates many summer crops, but once the fall rolls around pumpkins can be seen scattering the countryside.
Marinades: This may not be something most expect to find, but many farmers who grow herbs find themselves creating special marinades, sauces or rubs to utilize their crop in a way that sets them apart from other farmers.
Meat: One of the best places to find fresh meat and also talk to the person who likely raised the animal is a farmers market. Normal meats are aplenty, but this is also the place to try fares less common in the supermarket like bison, goose or even different types of jerky.
Milk: When most people think of farm fresh milk, they also think of the classic milk bottles emblazoned with the farm’s logo on the side. Often richer than store bought, farm fresh milk is hard to beat.
Soaps and Lotions: Most people don’t think of non food items at farmers markets, but farms are expanding their products to include soaps and lotions often made with their own beeswax, honey or goat milk products.