1. It promotes cooking fresh: Food is unaltered by being processed, packaged and shipped. Local chefs delight in showcasing what’s locally available through their farmers’ market. When they use products local to the environment, recipes “sing” with resounding taste, amazing freshness and brilliant colors, which translate into better presentation when plated.
2. It’s more flavorful: Locally grown and picked at the peak of flavor means food is very fresh. You can’t beat buying your ingredients at the farmers’ market. Tour the market to see what’s fresh, what looks good, and then invent a dinner menu using your discoveries…it spurs both creativity and fun.
3. It’s more nutritious: It’s naturally grown, farm raised and/or hand made to preserve the nutritional content. Prime ingredients hand made on a small scale produce such delicacies and unique flavors as spicy peach chutney or strawberry and tomato jam. The imagination put into these original recipes / combinations is inspired.
4. It’s the best place to find unique meat and produce: Try grass-fed and pastured grill-able meats like buffalo, elk, quail breast and emu! Just ask what’s fresh!
5. It’s seasonal: The harvest calendar reflects a diverse array of sustainable produce available from local farms during peak season and extended season periods, so there is always an element of surprise in what’s available. That anticipation makes shopping at the farmers’ market a treat. You literally cook to the season for that period, making recipes from selected products all the more delicious. Try Sweet Cornmeal Cake with Chevre Ice Cream and Honey Blackberry Coulis for a late summer dinner!
6. It’s educational: Talk to your local farmers about how they grow, feed, and process their products, as well as the local culture. When you learn about butchering techniques, you have a new respect for that particular meat. For example, “spinalis” is a cut of rib eye that has less fat, but the same mouthwatering rib eye flavor.
7. It’s more economical: Pricing is fantastic! One of the best features of the farmers’ market is the low prices, and the ability to buy in bulk or a single item (and nibble while you shop!), depending on your needs.
8. It is sustainably responsible: Preservation of farmland is important for the health of the environment and water supply. Every aspect of the farmer’s market addresses concern for sustainability, the health of our local economy, and our own personal wellbeing. Produce is home grown without additives, pesticides and preservatives. Animals are nature-fed on berries, nuts and grains, and grass. The farmers’ market is a “circle of good” offering better environment, better quality, and better presentation.
9. It supports the local economy: There’s no intermediary, so profit loss is minimized and more capital remains local. You get more for your money as well as an uplifting, even social, shopping experience!
10. It’s a fun family event: You’ll find your farmers’ market convenient, enjoyable and fun for the entire family…even kids love cruising the farmers’ market fare! There is a multitude of people, products, and foods, with multiple opportunities to learn, to chat, and to swap recipes and ideas. There is always an element of the unknown when exploring what’s in season and what you can create from those ingredients.