I love going to the farmers market!
I actually go to two different ones when I can, one on Wednesday afternoon that opens at 3:00 and one on Saturday mornings. I go to the one on Wednesdays because I get my beef from a farmer that I know, Flying J Farms. I have been to his farm and know how his cows live and what they eat, this is important to me. I go to the Saturday morning one because it is so big! I can get a fresh cup of coffee and I’m ready to walk up and down the street enjoying the people, their dogs and lots of healthy food. I also go early to talk to the farmers. So here are 5 things you will need to know before going to the farmers market.
Take your own bags
Save the landfills, environment and animals and don’t use plastic bags. Most stores sell the reusable bags for $1. You can put a lot of produce in them without worrying about them breaking. If you do have to use the bags the farmers give you bring them back the next time you go. You can also take reusable bags to the grocery store or department store.
Get to know the farmers
As I said above I buy my beef from a farmer I know. Ask questions, don’t assume that just because something is sold at a farmers market that it’s organic or even healthy. Ask them if they use pesticides and what they feed their animals.If they are feeding them GMO food, soy, or junk, walk away. You are what you eat! You can even learn from the farmers, learn about the process they take to harvest, learn about their farm maintenance, I was taught by a farmer what a Mulching Mower was once!
Wash your produce
Always wash your produce before cooking or eating because bacteria can grow while you store your produce. You can use water or water with a small amount of vinegar, make sure you dry it before bagging and storing. Don’t assume that if it’s organic that it’s clean. You don’t know who has touched it or where it’s been. Also, consider buying a produce brush to scrub produce with skin. If a small amount of mold is on your produce you can cut an inch off around the mold. If it is on soft produce like a tomato throw it away. Watch this video to learn more.
Try something new each week
Some farmers will have samples of produce that’s different. Be brave and give it a taste. Find out the background behind it and why you have never heard of it. You will get more nutrition when eating different types of produce. I also love that more and more markets are offering herbs and organic bath and cleaning products.So get out there and start living healthy!
Get there early
I do this for several reasons. First of all, I do not like standing in line and second the farmers have more time to talk to you about their produce. I find that after 9am you can barely walk through the aisle way. Another reason is you get to pick the best-looking fruits and veggies.
If you are in Ohio go to Ohio Proud to find a farmers market in your area. Anywhere else in the US, you can go to USDA to find a farmers market in your area. Now get out there and support your local economy. Try something new and visit lots of different locations to see what one best fits your health needs.