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November 20, 2017  |  Login
Buying Local Products from Nearby Farms and the Farmers’ Market
By Yvonne Jeffery, Liz Barclay & Michael Grosvenor
 

Local Farmers' Markets

Farmers' markets have increased in popularity in the past few years. That's great news for people who love to eat locally grown food and support local food growers and producers. Farmers' markets may be open one or two days a week during the growing season, or they may operate year-round. They cater to people who are interested in buying fresh, local, and sometimes organic produce.

At most farmers' markets, you can talk to the growers about their produce - they're usually passionate about the subject - so that you know exactly what you're buying and eating. You can find details of local farmers' markets at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website (www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/map.htm). If you don't find a market in your town or city listed on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website, inquire with Local Harvest (www.localharvest.org).

Not all the produce at a farmers' market is certified organic. Some growers use conventional growing methods, some may go through the certification process to convert to organic and others simply may be keen vegetable gardeners with green fingers.

Straight from a Local Farm

If you don't have a local farmers' market, you may be able to hook up with a farm not too far away from you that sells its produce straight from the farm or has its own farm store. Even if you live right in the middle of a city, you may find that farmers set up shop temporarily and sell produce straight off their own trucks. (Some farmers even deliver to established regular customers.)

Local Harvest (www.localharvest.org) has lists of family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food. In addition, many state government agricultural departments maintain lists of such farms.

The produce from a farm store may be somewhat more expensive because the farm doesn't sell the volume of produce that allows it to cut prices. If you have to drive there and back, you also have to think about the fuel you're using and the impact of your transportation on the environment. However, if you can combine a trip to the farm or farm store with other errands, you reduce your environmental impact.

Getting to know local farmers and shopping directly from farms has the added advantage of providing a fun day out for the whole family.  ....read more

 
 

 

 
 
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