Are you looking for a way to get your hands on fresh vegetables and fruits? Do you want to find a way to support the farmers and ranchers within your community? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about buying food from a farmers’ market.
Doing so can help you save a ton of money, help you keep your money inside the community, and support those hard-working men and women that work tirelessly to provide you with food.
See below for an in-depth guide explaining whether or not farmer’s markets are cheaper and what resources you can use to get in touch with local farmers.
Is It Cheaper to Buy From a Farmers’ Market?
As with most services that relate to grocery shopping, there’s probably one primary question that you have regarding farmers’ markets: are they cheaper? It depends on the “farmers’ market” that you’re visiting.
The term “farmer’s market” is very loose in and of itself. Some companies use it to try and give consumers the impression that everything they sell is locally sourced. You have to be very cautious of the companies that you’re entrusting.
Generally speaking, the chain farmers’ markets don’t offer you a cheaper option. Some of them consider “local” to be anything within 500 miles of the store, so they still have to drive a higher price to cover the cost of distribution and turn a profit.
Meanwhile, if you’re visiting community-supported farmers’ markets, then you can save a significant amount of money. It isn’t out of the ordinary for you to save almost half of what you’d pay at a brand-name store for the same vegetables and fruits.
Test it out for yourself! Go through the store and make a note of everything you purchase and what the price is. Then during the next week, go to a farmers’ market, buy the same items and see how much you end up saving.
But let’s be clear about one thing: it isn’t the farmers’ market that’s saving you money, it’s the fact that you’re buying local that’s saving you money. More importantly, you have access to fresher produce.
Why Should I Use Local Fresh Bag?
Farmers do a lot for our community. They work tirelessly night and day to create fresh crops for the citizens of their area to consume.
However, most of them are struggling with the connection to the digital age. They’re finding it harder and harder to stay compliant and still reach interested buyers. They need tools and resources to get their products online easier and connect with the community-minded buyers that want to purchase from them.
That’s why we created Local Fresh Bag. We’re here to shorten the distance between the farmer and the customer. We want to help provide shoppers (you) with as many items as possible. You can get your hands on local, healthy foods to feed you and your family.
You can use our website to find a product and get in touch with local farms who provide the item that you need. We infuse the ease of online shopping with the convenience of connecting you with farm-fresh vegetables, meats, fruits, and more.
Benefits of Buying Directly From Farmers
Now that you have seen how Local Fresh Bag can connect you with local farmers, let’s take a look at the benefits of buying straight from a farmer.
1. Support Local Businesses
As we’ve stated several times in this article, farmers are the unsung heroes of our civilization today. They work hard day and night to ensure the best results for the food they grow/raise.
Yet so many of them have to sacrifice their well-being to conform to the modern supply chain of working with big-brand stores. These industry giants have nothing but their own pockets in mind when they sell food to you.
By connecting and buying from the farmer directly, you can help them sustain their business and keep the resources within the community.
2. Fresh Food
Everyone loves going into a store and purchasing a nice fresh piece of fruit, but is it as fresh as they claim it to be? How many times have you cut into a pineapple that was already brown or pears that were past their prime?
When you purchase straight from the farmer, you get to have total peace of mind about your food. it’s fresh, it’s delicious, and it’s ready to be eaten right away.
Due to the lengthy distribution, most big brand companies pluck the fruits and veggies before they’re even ripe. When you buy within your community, you can purchase one that’s had time to grow to its full potential.
3. Organic Diet
Most international brands couldn’t care less about your diet. They don’t lose any sleep at night throwing a few genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in your food to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
When you use resources like farmers’ markets or Local Fresh Bag, you don’t have to worry about any GMOs in your food. All of it is fresh, organically-raised produce.
This can help you witness better results with your diet, as well as help you to have more natural energy throughout the day.
Find a Farmers’ Market You Can Trust: Use Local Fresh Bag
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on why you should purchase straight from the farmers’ market and the farmer, be sure to use this information wisely.
Take the time to read this blog article for more information on the benefits of eating seasonally from your local farmers’ market. Make sure to purchase your next week of groceries from Fresh Local Bag!
Due to capitalisms’ attempt to profit on convenience, consumers are used to picking out their favorite foods at the grocery store at any time of the year. We have been removed from our natural tendency to live according to what the earth yields with the seasons.
Getting back in tune with the rhythm of the earth helps us live a more natural lifestyle. This can be done through eating seasonally and shopping at the local farmers’ market. To read more about the benefits of shopping locally, keep reading.
1. Eating Seasonally for Better Taste
Eating with the seasons makes the food taste better because it’s more flavorful, ripe, and fresher. Instead of buying fruit or vegetables that are picked before they are ripe so they may be shipped to your grocery store, local produce is harvested as late as possible.
Keeping pre-picked produce chilled in shipping containers reduces its flavor. A lot of the time, before these products are put on the market, they have to be artificially ripened before they’re sold. While this process might lead to products pleasing to their eye, they are not nearly as tasteful as local foods.
2. It’s Cheaper
The cost for produce decreases when farmers have a large yield of a specific item. If there is a food item in the store that is not in season, it is typically more expensive as there’s a more extensive process behind getting the nonseasonal food to the shelves at all times of the year.
Production costs also don’t get passed onto the consumer nearly as much. Providers don’t have to account for shipping and storing when everything is being sold locally.
3. Higher Nutritional Value
When food is frozen and stored for a long period of time, the nutritional value of the product declines. When produce ripens naturally, they have more nutrients.
Foods also provide us the nutrients needed during the times of the year they are in season. For example, grapefruit’s peak season is the wintertime. This can be attributed to them providing high vitamin C content. Vitamin C greatly helps reduce the chances of getting sick from cold and flu season in the winter.
Certain foods produced in the summertime may provide protective qualities from the sun while providing sustainable energy throughout the longer days. Foods produced in the fall and winter are heartier to supply nutrition for prolonged darkness and periods of cold weather.
It seems mother nature knows what our bodies need when they need it. Eating seasonally improves the chances of maximizing your health and wellness.
4. Local Farmers Market Foods Help You Avoid Artificial Dyes
Foods produced by local farmers tend to have fewer chemicals, artificial sprays and dyes, and preservatives in them. Produce at chain grocery stores tend to come from large, industrialized farms. This leads to the workers using more harsh chemicals on their products to be able to maintain such a large-scale production.
Local seasonal foods tend not to have many of these toxic chemicals in them. Smaller-scale farmers are able to keep up with their yield without adhering to low standards such as these. Eating food in season from your local farmers’ market keeps you healthier as you won’t be ingesting as many chemicals.
5. Environmentally Friendly
Shopping for seasonal products is environmentally friendly for a multitude of reasons. Of course, there are fewer chemicals and hazardous materials being used on your food and in the soil.
Secondly, there is little travel needed by you or farmers to deliver the local products. Thousands of miles worth of gas are saved by not having to transport the food.
Smaller farms also use more sustainable farming practices than industrialized farming. This reduces carbon footprint, EO2 emissions, and overconsumption.
6. Supports Local Economy
Buying from farmers at your nearest farmers’ market directly helps support your local economy. Putting your dollar towards the local community shows your advocacy for small, independent businesses. This is more important than ever due to the trying times that Covid-19 has brought smaller productions.
Your community’s sense of well-being increases through your support. You may make friends with the farmers, establishing a sense of camaraderie and networking within your community.
Local farmers also contribute their earnings back to local businesses. Many local farmers have partnerships with local co-ops, so supporting them is indirectly supporting other local businesses.
Your local farmers also care about their consumers, which makes the overall experience of buying their goods more enjoyable and personable.
7. Experiment With New Foods
One of the most fun benefits of eating seasonally is trying out new recipes you otherwise might have missed out on. This can make cooking less boring as your options diversify. If you’re keen on gaining more culinary skills, this can also challenge your abilities and spark your creativity.
Exploring new flavor profiles can lead to wonderful discoveries in the kitchen. In the fall, you may have an abundance of apples and get to try out all kinds of apple-related dishes like apple pie, apple cider, and apple crumble. Otherwise, in the summer, you might find yourself using watermelon on salads as a snack or juiced for a refreshing treat.
Connect With Local Farmers
Start eating seasonally by connecting with farmers at your local farmers’ market.
Local Fresh Bag helps connect farmers with consumers to establish a transparent budding relationship between each other. Consumers want healthy food and feel better knowing exactly where their products are coming from.
With Local Fresh Bag’s services, you can get that sense of reassurance while helping support local businesses. To register for their services, click here.
Did you know that 90% of the American population lived on farms in the 1800s? A lot has changed since then, as big, industrial agriculture has dominated the market and the nature of the economy and society has changed.
When we support our local farmers, we are essentially voting with our dollars. We are choosing to support small farms and keep money in our local economy rather than buying the products of non-sustainable farming.
Shopping at your local farmer’s markets is one of the best ways to do this. However, the process can feel a little different than heading to the grocery store.
Are you looking for tips for getting the most out of your farmer’s market experience? If so, stick with us!
Know What’s in Season
When you go to a grocery store, you can usually find a standard collection of vegetables and fruits. However, farmer’s markets are usually only going to have things that are in season in your local area.
That means if you live in Maine, you’re probably not ever going to find pineapple at your farmer’s market. By learning your agricultural hardiness zone what is in season in your area at different times of year, you can know what you can probably get at the market and what you’ll have to head to the grocery store for.
Plan a Menu For the Week
It’s a good idea to create a plan before heading to the farmer’s market. This way, you can know exactly which fruits and vegetables you want to get along with how much of each. Without a plan, there’s a good chance you’ll end up buying too many of the wrong things, wasting money and food.
However, it can be fun to leave some wiggle room when it comes to your local harvest farmer’s market. You might find you enjoy leaving a little room in your budget for some impulsive purchases.
Do a Walk-Through First
When you get to your local farmers market, don’t just start buying right away. First, do a loop to see what is available. You can also compare prices during this time.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
One of the great things about farmers’ markets is that the farmers are right there for you to talk to. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their farm, their growing practices, and what crops they’ll have in the future. They are typically more than willing to help.
Also, you might find that some of your local farmers use organic practices but haven’t paid to become “certified organic.” By asking them about their practices, you might be able to save money on food that is organic in all ways except in name.
Go Early… Or Late
If you want to get the best selection and enjoy the smallest crowds, be one of the first people to the farmers market. If you want to save money, head over at the end of the market to snag some deals.
Go With an Open Mind
You never know what you’re going to find at the other end of a “farmers market near me” google search. This is a great opportunity to try something new that you’ve never heard of before or always wanted to try.
Bring Your Own Bags
It’s best to bring your own canvas or reusable bags to farmers’ markets. This will make it easier to carry your produce and creates less waste.
Bring Some Cash
Lots of farmer’s markets prefer to take cash, though it’s increasingly common for vendors to accept cards. It’s a good idea to bring small bills and change so that you don’t have to deal with tracking down change for a twenty.
Give Yourself Some Extra Time
Lots of times farmer’s markets have music or other events going on. It’s a great time for your kids to run around with others and for you to chat with your community members. Consider hanging around a little longer just to enjoy the vibe.
Talk to the Farmers
Going to your local farmers’ market is one of the best ways to learn where your food comes from. Not only can you learn where the food is grown and how, but you can get to know the person who grows it, too!
Buy in Bulk
You can save on your produce when you buy in bulk. However, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan for how to use all that produce before it goes bad. Consider taking up food preservation as a hobby, which includes drying, canning, freezing, and fermenting.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Rain
Many people will get scared away from a farmer’s market by a little bit of rain. If you are willing to get a little wet, you can get a great selection and maybe even find a few deals.
(Wondering if there’s a way to connect with your local farmers online? You can search for local produce here!)
Learn to Love Ugly Produce
Americans tend to have somewhat unrealistic beauty standards when it comes to produce. You might be surprised to learn how much produce gets thrown on the compost pile or in the trash because of the smallest blemish. It’s worth learning the difference between produce that looks a little weird and produce that is not good to eat, as you can save money and enjoy new varieties this way.
Are You Ready to Start Buying Local?
Supporting your local farmers is a great way to show that you care for your region, your health, and the environment. Heading over to your farmers market is a way you can purchase from several different farmers in one place, whether it be for produce, eggs, dairy, meat, or value-added products.
Are you interested in connecting with your local farmers? If so, check out Local Fresh Bag today!