Press-Republican

Columns

June 2, 2013

Open for business

For customers, shopping at a farmers market means getting to select from the finest, the freshest and the best local produce and prepared foods that money can buy.

Local farmers markets offer a terrific variety of freshly picked vegetables and fruits. But you can also find top-quality naturally raised meats, herbs, starter plants (purchasing seedlings from a local grower reduces the risk of disease in your garden), homemade baked goods and locally prepared artisan foods of all kinds.

When you shop at your nearby farmers market, you can meet and visit with the growers, ask questions and get closer to the sources of locally grown and prepared wholesome, nutritious food. What’s more, you can be confident and feel good about buying home-grown food from your neighbors. Hey, it’s fun to talk to the folks that grow it. And they’ll appreciate your feedback.

We are living in an age of global markets and, as such, it’s all too easy to see how local towns and communities can lose touch with the efforts and the productivity of area farmers and growers. But, shopping at farmers markets supports local growers and the preservation and productive use of our land and water. What’s more, shopping at farmers markets strengthens our rural economy and the knowledge of our agricultural heritage for future generations. Besides, locally grown and prepared foods tastes better and are more nutritious than fruits and vegetables that are picked before they’re ripe and then transported across the continent or halfway around the world.

Many parts of the world have a tradition of farmers markets going back many centuries. In ancient times, they were the centers of villages and towns, places where people gathered to buy, barter and trade goods and services, and where people met to exchange news and share stories with one another.

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