As much as I hate grocery shopping, I love frequenting our many local farmers' markets. I'm fortunate that in my hometown of Fresno, I can find an open air market and purchase directly from growers almost any day of the week. The markets don't just carry produce, but also coffees, bakery items, flowers and other tempting treats. The following are just a few of the benefits of shopping at a Farmers' Market:
Taste — The fruit and vegetables are always fresher and tastier from the market. Also, we love having the experts (growers) help us pick out the choicest items.
Cost — The prices are typically much lower than my local grocery store and the money goes back into our local economy directly.
Creativity — Farmers Markets feature items that are in season and challenge you to come up with creative recipe ideas. Today's market was featuring figs, a local favorite. Although I've never cooked with figs before, today's a great day to start!
Social — There is just something wonderful about strolling around a market. The sites and smells warm the senses. Conversations with locals and growers abound. Shopping feels like a treat, rather than a chore.
Health — We all know that we should be eating more fresh produce. Making a habit of market shopping will ensure that you have items on hand that are actually healthy and nutritious. Involving your kids might even get them to expand their dietary preferences beyond chicken nuggets and fries!
Don't know of a Farmers' Market in your area? Check out the Local Harvest website where you can search online by zip code for resources near you.