Depending on where you live in the United States, you may have had access to fresh, local produce throughout the winter, but for many Americans, this only comes with the emergence of the warmer spring weather. Luckily, farmers markets across the country are re-opening this season!
The establishment and expansion of farmers markets is an effective distribution system from local farms to urban and rural areas and provides access to healthy food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to improving access to healthy food, farmers markets benefits include:
- Taste. Perhaps you’re not a big fruit or vegetable fan? Try a strawberry or cucumber from the farmers market and you’ll be hooked. Local food doesn't have to travel far, reducing time spent on trucks and in warehouses. This freshness enhances the amazing natural flavor of the produce. Your taste buds will thank you!
- Community. Popping up in neighborhood centers, farmers markets are a place for residents to gather each week and build a sense of community. Farmers markets are also a way for consumers to get to know and support local farmers.
- Cost. Produce at farmers markets is typically less expensive than at a grocery store. Many markets also accept food stamps and WIC coupons for low-income community members.
- Variety. Shopping at a farmers market you will find tremendous diversity in the produce available. Did you know that there are hundreds of varieties of apples? Be adventurous and try a new type of apple. You’ll find that each variety has a unique and interesting taste.
If you haven’t been to a farmers market before, or don’t know where to look, it’s easy to find one near you! The National Farmers Market Search Engine provides the public with convenient access to information about U.S. farmers market locations, directions, operating times, product offerings, and accepted forms of payment. Please share your farmers market experiences with us here!
Want to know more?
USDA Farmers Market Locator