Last Wednesday night, Rachael and I made our first trip of the season to the local Edmonton farmers market. You got to love a bright sunny evening or early Saturday morning browsing through colorful produce, artisan dips, and freshly baked grains. At one point in the evening, a fruit vendor handed me a strawberry to taste. I was one bite in when my eyes lit up as I was reminded how sweet a fresh, ripe strawberry can be. It took me back to my trip to Punjab two years ago, a place where local produce vendors crowd the streets daily to sell their finest, tastiest, most vibrant vegetables and fruits. All of this got me thinking, what’s the fuss about your local farmers market and what’s in it for you? Behold my top reasons!
ENJOY REAL TASTE
Eat fresh produce from a market just once and you’ll wish it was farmers market season all year round! The beauty of a local market is that farmers around your community grow and ripen produce in the field right before shipping it over to you. The flavor profile of each fruit and vegetable is picked at its peak. It’s literally a farm to food experience!
NOURISH YOUR BODY
When fruits and vegetables are grown closer to home they can be picked when most ripe. Some studies show the vitamin C content of tomatoes, red peppers, apricots, and peaches is higher when picked at their peak! Keep in mind, whether produce is locally grown or imported, factors including production method, post-harvest method, storage, and processing may affect nutritional quality.
BRIGHTEN UP YOUR LIFE
Most supermarkets stock the same food, produce, and herbs regardless of the season. Your local farmers market brings in a variety of products you don’t see daily. Imagine a world of red carrots, purple cauliflower, vibrant heirloom tomatoes, and much more.
CONNECT WITH FOOD, COMMUNITY, AND LOCAL GROWERS
If you’re curious about where your food comes from, get to know farmers that know best about their individual practices. Take it as an opportunity to learn about our earth and teach your children where food comes from. It’s not all about groceries, the market is a community event where you can meet friends, family, or perhaps a date. Some farmers markets include face painting, bouncy castles, and foods trucks. All ‘round fun for all ages!
The reason I love my local farmers market? It’s so much more fun strolling amidst stalls of colorful fruits and veggies in front of smiling faces on a warm day than carting between aisles and rushed shoppers at a grocery store. Whether you choose to buy a lot or little, or just stroll through food trucks for a quick bite, find the local market near you and get started. Share your favorite market finds with us below!