I’m new to farmers markets. Before joining them, as a vendor, my experience was mostly that they provided life and beauty to their local neighborhoods. But I didn’t utilize them for my weekly grocery shopping, my main reason was that I didn’t plan for it; I didn’t bring shopping bags, money and a grocery list. My second reason was expenses, I had a feeling that they were more expensive than the supermarkets.
I may be biased now, but my opinion has drastically changed. The benefits are numerous and I would like to share with you a couple of my favorite reasons to shop at a farmers market.
- The prices are lower than average. It’s simple actually, you don’t have the middle man, the produce or products come straight from the farm/artist/chef to you. I noticed it one day, we had bought flowers and berries at the market, then stopped by a store for milk, I was so surprised to see the price difference. You can find products that are cheaper but are they of the same quality? Handmade lotions, organic vegetables and fruits, hot foods prepared with local ingredients, are of course not cheap to make but I find that at farmers markets the prices are amazingly low for the high quality.
- Boosts your local economy. A great way to create happy and healthy communities is to have a strong local economy. You can do this through the many choices you make every day, which restaurant, grocery store, hairdresser, bath product supplier, clothing and furniture maker do you support? The goal is to have the profits stay within your community. When you shop at a farmers market you definitely support the local economy, the vendors will hopefully return the favor by supporting other local businesses.
- Meet your Community! You may frequent a farmers market that is not in your usual neighborhood but for the day – this is your “village”. I moved here from an international community in Scotland, having people around me from different cultures and countries was part of my daily life, and I loved it. Well, here is my new community! We have enjoyed the new friendships that have formed between us and other vendors and the folk who come by. The comradery, the laughs and the chats are wonderful. You may think you’re just another person in the crowd but you have made a difference to someone’s day!
- Good for your body and soul. Most of all, I find the products at the markets amazing! I love, that I don’t have to look at labels to find out how far away from they have come or whether they are in season or if they have been sprayed with chemicals. I love, that you can find unusual vegetables (in season locally), handmade pasta, unique and artistic products, fish and meats caught or raised by the people selling them to you, baked goods made with love, soaps with no more than 5 ingredients, flowers that makes your heart happy, and much, much more!
We may not be able to cover all of our grocery needs at the farmers market but we have fun trying!
Photos from the Gig Harbor, Tacoma and Steilacoom farmers markets, hope you enjoy 🙂