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Love Your Farmers Market

Love Your Farmers Market

I have always loved the farmers market. As a long-time vegetarian, I love oogling the booths of farm fresh produce like a fashionista drools over designer shoes. And as a life-long urban gal with a love of the environment and all creatures great and small, I really enjoy meeting the folks who grow my food, supporting a rural lifestyle that is vanishing in America, and knowing that I can buy food directly from small organic farms, supporting local food economies, instead of from large, faceless, conventional agricultural corporations.

I love all of my local farmers markets; I am lucky to live in an area with several on different days of the week. So who knows how I’ll decide which one to vote for in Care2′s new “Love Your Farmers Market” contest, co-sponsored with Starting this week through September 17th, anyone in the U.S. can vote for their favorite farmers market, and the top vote-getting market will win a $5,000 prize!

I took my almost three-year-old twins to one of our local farmers markets this afternoon – it’s a seasonal market that runs every Thursday from 4pm-8pm from May through October. We loaded up on organic raspberries (which my daughter could happily live on), blackberries, strawberries (which I could happily live on!) and our first peaches of the season. At least one pint of berries was consumed right there at the market.

You can get great deals at the farmers market – which is important when you have two kids who can each pound a pint of berries like a frat boy downs a beer. Organic produce fetches a premium at the store, and while the farmers market is no bargain basement, you can get great prices on what’s in season – and that’s the whole point. When you eat with the seasons, you eat the food that is fresh, nutritious, economical – no need to pay for storage and transport – and just plain yummy. Really, the only way to get better tomatoes is to grow your own – and even then, with two small kids my backyard garden is really more of an educational tool right now than a source of food for our family. The farmers market is where it’s at for us.

So show your community farmers market some love today – vote in the “Love Your Farmers Market” contest and help your market win $5,000!

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7:15PM PDT on Jun 24, 2009

In NYC the greenmarkets are not just a source of great food and an outlet for small local farmers, but they really are community centers that bring people together. You get to know your neighbors and the farmers. I remember when my greenmarket closed last fall for the winter, people were hugging and even crying when saying goodbye. They totally deserve our support.

6:51AM PDT on Jun 24, 2009

I wish farmer's markets could have extended hours like most grocery stores. I understand it is impossible with the small operation, but it is so hard to make it there by 6. At least they are open on Saturdays. =)

7:16PM PDT on Jun 23, 2009

Cant say I really know my farmers that closely at my weekly farmers market since I'm still new to the area in the OC and its sad its not even on the list. I love going there and getting fresh strawberries, which taste absolutely delicious!

7:49AM PDT on Jun 19, 2009

Yes my Thursday farmers market is very reasonable/cheap, 2 large sweet melons for a Euro(£0.85, $1.30?). We also get to know the best ones to buy from, unfortunately also the busiest. Go vegetarian you improve your healthy & that of your pocket & most important that of the whole world if everybody was mainly. Maize/sweet corn, beans/pulses & squash give you all the amino acids & vitamins you need( known as the holy trinity of foods).

7:25AM PDT on Jun 19, 2009

Since I work in the area, I've gone to the Copley Farmers Market for years and love it! I just wish Haymarket Square in Boston's Faneuil Hall Market area was in the list, as I would've voted for them instead! Haymarket is a FABULOUS place - way cheaper than anything else around; however, in a pinch and when I want artisan-type stuff, Copley's Farmers Market is unsurpassed.

6:40AM PDT on Jun 19, 2009

Our city market is wonderful, we know the vendors and which ones have the best produce, and this year, again, they have a program to let the farmers take food stamps so that lower income folks can get fresh produce too. I know that sounds odd, but with the cost of organic fruits and veggies at the store, it seems that the less fortunate among us end up with the cheap GM foods and its just not fair.

Being green shouldn't require a lot of green (money).

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