Six Reasons I Love Farmers Markets

It’s the weekend and that means I’m missing the Farmers Market back home in Fredericksburg. 

When we’re on the road I like to head for the local market if I can.

People and tents at the Farmers Market at the Santa Fe Railyard

The Saturday Farmers Market at the Santa Fe, New Mexico, Railyard

Why do I like farmers markets?

1) I like to support area farmers. When neighboring farmers can make a living, then their land is safer from development and disappearance. My home in Fredericksburg is less than three miles away from I-95, one of the most polluted, clogged, and urbanized highways in the U.S.  Yet just two miles in the other direction are pastures, fields, and breathing space for the soul and the lungs.

Singing River Farm owner playing guitar in his booth at  the Santa Fe Farmers Market

Singing River Farm booth at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, with a singing farmer.

2) I like the quality of produce that is fresh from the ground or the tree branch. At the farmers market I can find tomatoes that don’t smell like plastic, lettuce that was resting on the earth just hours ago, and cucumbers that haven’t been waxed shinier than my kitchen floor.

Booth at Las Cruces, New Mexico, Farmers Market with a string of red chili peppers, called a "ristra.".

Booth at Las Cruces, New Mexico, Farmers Market with a string of red chili peppers, called a “ristra.”

3) I like to meet the people who grow my food . . . or harvest my honey, or bake my bread, or tend my cut flowers. Putting a real face to a product is so much more satisfying than making friends with the Walmart smiley face.

Southwest Chutney vendor at Santa Fe Farmers Market, wearing sunglasses with marijuana plant decals on the lenses, holds up a jar of peach and green chile chutney.

Southwest Chutney vendor at Santa Fe Farmers Market. Peach and green chile chutney. Notice the pot plant decals on the sunglasses. Hope the chutney’s not laced!

4) I like to be in touch with the season. I like buying asparagus in the spring, ripe melons in the summer, and butternut squash in the fall.

5) I like to bump into friends and neighbors, or when I’m out of town, to rub shoulders with kindred spirits.

6) I like the unique character that a farmers market has in common with its community. Some are purists: “Locally Produced Foods Only.” Some are wide open with musicians, artisans, and other vendors as wildly divergent as massage therapists and people who make jewelry from bullets.

Washtub Bass Cowboy and Young Guitar Picker at the Las Cruces, New Mexico, Farmers Market

Washtub bass player and a young guitar picker make music at the Las Cruces, New Mexico, Farmers Market.

Several national organizations support farmers markets and provide search tools to help find local markets at home or on the road. Try Local Harvest or the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service .

Already know and love your farmers market?  Pledge to support your community market through the I Love My Farmers Market  program run by American Farmland Trust (the No Farms, No Food people).

Have you ever visited your local farmers market? What about while you were on the road? Why do you love farmers markets? I’d love to hear from you. Just click on Leave a Comment below.

10 thoughts on “Six Reasons I Love Farmers Markets

  1. The Chile Woman

    I love to attend the Bloomington, IN market both as a vendor and as a customer. I love seeing my regular customers and I revel in the delicious bounty produced by my fellow vendors. Good food, good music, good company, it is like a giant dinner party.

    Reply
  2. Jane of A Tranquil Nook

    Wow. Charlotte, thank you! Your wonderful words make me glad to say “We offer produce and handcrafts both at the garden gate and a local farmers market.” We so enjoy customers who are as happy to purchase fresh picked as we are grow it.

    Reply
  3. Tammy

    I love farmers markets for all the reasons above. I live on a farm(all my life) and now participate in our local farmers market, but before I was a member I shopped the market regularly. I love to go to other farmers markets as well. You can always find fresh, unique produce, crafts, food, etc… Just a neat place to connect with others while learning something new or lending some advice to others.

    Reply
  4. Angela p

    Produce, honey, flowers, fresh baked goods, colorful artwork and artisans, yummy breakfast tacos, small-scale, local producers who save that last dozen of duck eggs for you…LOVE farmers markets!

    Reply
    1. Charlotte Post author

      Breakfast burritos in Santa Fe! You would love it. I don’t know about the duck eggs, though. *grins*

      Reply
    1. Charlotte Post author

      Hahaha. That guy let me try the glasses on, too. Hope you do find a farmers market. There ought to be a great one near you.

      Reply

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