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Did you know that there are more than 8,600 farmer’s markets that are registered in the USDA Farmers Market Directory? Remarkably, this number has grown since 1994 from just under 2000 markets in the country.

You can find farmer’s markets across the United States on town greens, in parking lots, and in parks. Whether you’re in a rural place, a suburban place, or a dense city center, chances are you aren’t terribly far from a farmer’s market.

Are you thinking about visiting your local farmers market but you aren’t sure if it’s worth the trip?

Let’s take a look at a bunch of reasons why you’ll definitely want to google “farmers market near me.”

You Can Get to Know Your Farmer and Where Your Food Comes From

When you buy groceries at the supermarket, you rarely know where in the world it’s coming from, let alone who the farmer was that grew it. Unless you are specifically seeking out a store that offers local and organic produce, then it’s basically certain that the food you’re buying is the product of big industrial agricultural operations.

At the farmers market, the person selling you your tomatoes or eggs is almost always a person who runs or works on the farm. If you’re interested, they’re typically happy to tell you all about their farming practices and policies.

Some farmers also might be happy to have you stop by their farm sometime to see exactly where your food is coming from. In a world where so much of what we buy travels halfway across the country before it gets to us, it’s amazing to be able to drive across town to see the place where it all happens.

Many people are increasingly concerned with industrial agricultural practices. The use of pesticides and herbicides can wreak havoc on the environment, and standard practice when it comes to animal treatment is a sad story indeed. By getting to see where your food is coming from, you can rest easy knowing that you are supporting a sustainable business that cares for animals and the earth.

It’s a Great Way to Interact With the Community

The modern world is incredibly convenient. You can get just about anything shipped to you in just a few days, you can order groceries and take out, and you can work remotely. While that’s all well and good, it also means that the human tradition of gathering and socializing in the marketplace is not as much a part of our reality.

Shopping at a farmer’s market is a completely different experience than heading to the grocery store. Often there’s lovely music being played, people chatting, people laughing, sunshine, and fresh air. Many people go to the farmer’s market to be at the farmer’s market, not just to grab essentials as fast as possible.

It Keeps Money In Your Local Economy

So much of what we buy isn’t produced where we live. By shopping locally when you can, you’re helping the place that you live thrive. Rather than taking your hard-earned money and shipping it elsewhere in the country or the world, why not keep it closer to home?

Small businesses are constantly competing with larger corporations and the reality of e-commerce. When you choose to shop local, you’re voting with your dollars that you want those businesses to stay open and thrive.

It’s as Fresh as Food Can get!

The produce you get at the grocery store has been on a long, long trip. Not only is this wasteful when it comes to fuel and energy, it also means that the food you’re getting isn’t particularly fresh.

At the farmer’s market, the produce was often picked the same day that you’re buying it. Not only does this mean that the food will taste better and last longer in your fridge, but it also often means that the food is more nutritionally dense.

Your Local Farmers Market Is an Affordable Option

Maybe you’ve been staying away from your local harvest farmer’s market because you associate “local” and “organic” as things that mean “expensive.” However, when it comes to the perfect intersection between quality and cost, the farmer’s market is often the best value.

This is because there is no middle man when you shop at a farmer’s market. This means that you’re not paying extra for what you’re getting.

You also might find that some of the farms at your local market basically abide by organic farming processes but can’t afford the expensive process of becoming “certified organic.” These farms might be offering food that is just as organic as any organic farm, but at a lower cost.

All that being said, it’s worth understanding that food that is grown with organic methods will almost always cost more than conventionally farmed food. This is because conventionally farmed food uses chemicals and other tactics to boost production, while growing organic relies on more time-consuming methods that are better for the environment and your health.

There’s So Much Variety

Lastly, there are some things that simply don’t travel well or store long enough to be sold at grocery stores. This means that you can find some things at your local farmers’ market that you simply can’t find in any grocery store.

Is It Time For You to Head to Your Local Farmers Market?

As you can see, there are a ton of really good reasons to check out your local farmers market. You might be even lucky enough to live in an area where there are several different markets every week, and some places even have markets in the winter!

Are you interested in connecting with your local farmers and buying the freshest local meat, produce, and goods? If so, click here to find farmers in your area.

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