When you shop at your local farmer’s market you get produce that is fresher, tastes better and is more nutritious than anything in the supermarket. You also support your local economy and encourage small to medium scale farmers to stay in business, which is also really important to maintain agricultural biodiversity.
Large scale chemical agriculture poisons the soil and water, and weakens communities. When you shop at farmer’s markets you are contributing to changing this. You are helping to maintain a healthy environment and a stronger, more sustainable economy.
Not sure where your local farmer’s market is? Local Harvest is a web site with a listing of farmer’s markets across the country, as well as organic, or farm to table restaurants, farms selling to the public, CSA’a and lots of other great information. The web site is http://www.localharvest.org
We are really lucky in Santa Fe to have a fantastic farmer’s market twice a week for much of the year. The community really supports the market and it has been in existence since the late 1960’s when it was just a small group of farmers; today there are over 100 active vendors. I remember living here about 10 years ago and the farmer’s market was always a part of my Saturday routine. I used to watch how many of the farmers practically fell to their knees when Deborah Madison would come to their booths, it always made me laugh a bit. The market was part of my preparation for the incredible outdoor markets in Europe, which I then was lucky enough to enjoy while living there for many years.
In Santa Fe they are pretty strict as far as what can be sold at the market. All products are always locally grown by the people who are selling them, and 100% of the vegetables, fruits, and nursery plants are grown in northern New Mexico. All prepared food vendors must use 80% local ingredients in their products. This is really a market that believes in supporting the local farmers.
Here is the web site for the Santa Fe farmer’s market for more information http://www.santafefarmersmarket.com/
Not all cities are lucky enough to have so many nearby farms as in Santa Fe. Even if your local farmer’s market allows vendors to sell produce that they have purchased rather than grown themselves, when you buy organic or pesticide free you are still contributing to improving the environment by saying “no” to the use of chemicals in your food.