|One of the most exciting aspects of spring and summer is the weekly offerings of fruit, vegetables, berries, baked goods, crafts and grass-fed meats that you can find at your local farmers market. Here just a few of the great benefits of buying local.
Farm-fresh goodness. If you’ve ever compared a freshly-picked tomato from a local vendor to the standard grocery store fare, there really is no comparison in taste and quality. Fresh tomatoes are juicy, nutritious and delicious. Supermarket tomatoes, because they have to be picked before they are fully ripe in order to make it to the store before they go bad, tend to have a hard feel and little flavor. This is often the case with store produce: pretty to look at, but deficient in flavor.
Focus on the family. Many small farms are family-run, with sons, daughters, husbands and wives all working together to support their families and communities by bringing delicious, healthy food to the table. Shoppers who frequent farmers markets are often city dwellers who either don’t have the space or the knowledge to grow their own food. By participating in a farmers market and buying local, parents are able to introduce their children to farmers and artisans, and ask questions about how things are made and grown.
Community support. Small farms are a dying breed and can only survive with the help of their communities. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, each dollar spent at a local independent business will be returned threefold to your local economy, as opposed to a dollar spent at a chain store. When you buy local it’s a win-win for everybody: local growers and craftsmen are able grow and prosper and lend a unique flavor to your community, and residents have better access to high-quality, nutritious food and superior, locally-made products.