Farmers Markets Abound

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September 1, 2012

A farmers market is made up of individual sellers, commonly farmers, who set up stands to sell their products. With growing interest in living a healthy lifestyle and the Northwest’s famous late summer weather, stands have shown up everywhere. Shopping at a nearby bazaar is a great way to support the local community while enjoying fresh produce and homemade goods.

Farmers markets tend to carry a wide variety of items. In addition to produce, many of the vendors have meats, dairy and honey, and in some cases, locally made wine, pasta, jewelry, art, soaps and candles. There are several advantages to shopping at a nearby market, such as getting higher quality products, reducing environmental impact, paying less, and being involved in your neighborhood.

The quality of the produce at farmers markets is well known. Buying locally produced goods eliminates transportation time resulting in fresher and more flavorful produce. Shopping at a local bazaar helps to reduce the negative environmental impact of using fossil fuels to transport similar items from farther away. Produce sold at the stands is usually organic, which ensures a level of health and quality not always found in produce that has been genetically modified or treated with pesticides. Products from a bazaar also use less packaging, which helps reduce packaging waste.

Purchasing directly from local farmers saves money on processing and distribution and eliminates the use of a middleman (in the form of a supermarket) to sell the goods. This can result in lower prices than what is available in large grocery stores. Local markets provide a way to contribute to the people who live in the area by creating jobs, raising income levels, and helping keep farmers in business by increasing their profits.

Farmers markets provide a vibrant social environment and are a great way to connect with other people who live in the area. Larger bazaars can include entertainment, such as live music, making them an ideal place to spend some time relaxing and getting to know your neighbors. They are not just for adults either; some markets will have face painting, balloons, or other types of entertainment for children. A trip to a nearby market can be a great way to spend the day with your family.