Spring on The Farm
It’s getting to be that time of the year again. Soon, all the early vegetables will be filling the shelves at your local farmers markets. I really love the smells and the colors and the sounds that come from the different local markets I find on my travels.
Local, Fresh, Tasty
Depending on where you live and the season, the local produce can really be quite stunning. Many of the vendors in the shops take special pride in what they and their families have grown and do a fantastic job of laying out the produce to appeal to the buyers.
Keep in mind while shopping in your local market that many retailers buy fruits and vegetables from a local wholesaler to flesh out their inventory and selection and while you may be buying from a vendor in a booth who comes from a local farm, it doesn’t mean everything for sale was grown locally! If you’re ever in doubt, just ask. Most all the vendors will tell you honestly. They just won’t advertise up front that something was imported from another state. That takes away from the cache they have over just buying your produce at the local supermarket.
If you’re interested in organic produce always make sure to ask. The reality is that the certification process can be daunting and overly expensive and the compliance paperwork more than a smaller grower wants to do. So, a number of growers who technically grow in compliance with organic restrictions aren’t able to advertise as such. If you have a question, just ask. While it’s possible that a grower in the market will tell you what they think you want to hear, most will be honest with you regarding what they put on the crop. After all, you know where to find them — right back at the market next week! 🙂
Visiting the market can be a fun and educational experience for the whole family. Take the kids to the market, talk about how you go about selecting the foods that your family eats, and let them hear your conversations with the growers that supply your fruits and vegetables. It is important that we stay connected with the sources of a food whenever and however possible.