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 LocalHarvest.org. 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!