This is my latest article from The Red Shoe Box monthly newsletter.
I do a monthly article to support Chelle’s work.
This is one of the best times of the year to get to know your Farmers Markets. And I note them in the plural, if you have more than one in your area, make sure over the course of this month to check them all out. There are different farmers at different markets, and you just might find something wonderful that you would have missed had you only gone to one.
What are the advantages of shopping at a Farmers Market?
1. It’s the closest you will get to farm to table.
Usually what is at the farmers market was harvested the day before, so you are getting the maximum amount of nutrients that that plant has to share with you.
2. Get to know your farmer
Talk to them about their farming practices, their use of herbicides and pesticides, their commitment to growing toxin free produce. Not all of the farmers I buy from are Certified Organic, which is a very expensive bookkeeping proposition, but most of these farmers are committed to a healthy growing environment. And I am a city girl, so this is a wonderful way to get to know the farming practices of my food.
3. Often the price is much lower than what you are buying at your area’s grocer.
At the farmers market, you are buying what is in season, so you are buying what is in abundance. The same rules of supply and demand apply here, what is in abundance is the least expensive to buy.
4. Go early
You will find the largest selection if you arrive right after the farmers market opens and you get to pick from the best they have to offer.
5. Go late
By going at the end of the market, there might be a price advantage. Since they put them on the truck to get them to the market and they don’t want to take them home again, one of our markets discounts the veggies and fruits that are leftover at the end of the market. This is not always the practice, but it’s worth finding out.
6. There is often a local rancher at the market as well.
We only eat pastured meats. Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished beef, Heritage pork that is pastured, pastured free-run chicken, pastured eggs. You become what your animal eats, and you don’t need a healthy dose of hormones and antibiotics that factory farmed animals are given.
7. There are often other lovely things sold at the Farmers Market that you won’t get anywhere else.
At one farmers market, we buy beautiful canned (mason jars) organic tomato products, including salsas, and a wonderful V-8 type juice without all the ingredients I can’t pronounced (which are not good for me.)
We also find organic breads at 2 of our markets that are out of this world. We only eat organic bread to avoid a healthy dose of Glyphosate (Roundup) that is now proven to be toxic.
Another farmers market does canning on berries, so that in the winter, I have those to make syrups etc. with rather than frozen fruit. Again, organic and in glass.
8. Farmers markets are a wonderful place to find like-minded people
Since we do not eat the SAD in my family (the Standard American Diet) we sometimes feel like we are swimming upstream. Others in our lives do not understand our commitment to high quality toxin free food, or why we don’t eat processed or fast foods, or eat out in restaurants regularly. We have made many friendships that have become lasting from conversations with like-minded people at the farmers markets.
9. My biggest tip this month is to buy as close to the farm as possible, and to eat all the colors of the rainbow.
Each color has a gift for your body and all the colors work together synergistically to bring you health. Real Food Heals.