Summertime is here – you know what that means. . . it’s Farmers Market Season!! This is big news for the Farm to Fork Capital and our abundance of fresh produce throughout our city. Stock up this season with local and organic produce all summer long. Need more convincing? Below is a guide to all the perks of buying local and supporting your farmer’s at pop up markets around the city.
Why buy local?
- Supporting Local Agriculture & the Environment
Shopping at our local farmer’s market does not require us to waste energy and petroleum to ship the food halfway around the world. You are eating food from your own environment, with nutrients curated by your specific climate and region.
- Products are Cheaper
You can generally find a variety of fresh, organic produce at more affordable prices than in a supermarket. Stressed about buying organic, or can’t because it’s too expensive? mMany farmers carry products that are not technically “organic,” (as this is a costly and often bureaucratic-heavy process), but their farming process is pesticide and hormone free – so you get safe, nutritious food, for a low price! A win win!
- Supporting Local Farmers
Buying local supports human beings and the local economy, instead of massive agribusiness GMO food conglomerates.
Your money will stay in your area and you will be supporting the local farmers who work hard to grow fresh, nutritious, and reliable food for the community.
- Less Waste
Shopping at the local market helps to decrease much of the waste that often accompanies grocery shopping. You are encouraged to bring your own bags, and all of the produce is in bulk, allowing you to control (and hopefully eliminate) your use of plastic. Even better, farmers markets often sell bulk items such as organic sprouts, homemade breads, bulk greens that you can mix and match, eggs (re-use your empty egg cartons from home), nuts and seeds, and so much more! Finally, most farmers markets have a station where you can drop off your compost, and even recycle clothing items! Talk to the closest market near you and find out what their protocol is.
- Seasonal Produce!
By shopping at the local farmers market, you will always be eating food that is ripe, fresh, and in season. This is important, as eating seasonally allows you the full nutritious benefits the foods have to offer. Supermarkets tend to stock their shelves with unripe products, picked too early and therefore lacking in nutrients.
- Non Industrial Farming
Giant factory farms grow massive amounts of produce, shipping it all over the world. Giant corporations run industrial farms, driving local family farms out of business. For the sake of efficiency, industrial farming favors monocultures, where a single field only grows one type of fruits or vegetables. Monocultures sap the soil of essential nutrients, leaving it useless. In addition, these farms are more susceptible to disease and pests. In general, industrial farming (both conventional and organic) is hard on the land, depletes the soil of nutrients, uses industrial chemical fertilizers and/or pesticides, and utilizes environmentally unfriendly practices that are not sustainable over the long-term.
When you shop at the farmer’s market, you are able to actually talk with the farmer who grew the food and truly understand the farm’s growing and processing practices. The farmer’s market is a great place to gather! It is an activity you can do with family and friends and truly come together as a community. The Sacramento Midtown Farmer’s Markets always has a wide variety of different craft and artisan vendors! Some of our favorites include:
Check out the links below for Sacramento’s best Farmers Markets and plan your visit!