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Eating Seasonally From Your Farmer's Market

Eating Seasonally From Your Farmer's Market

The first official day of summer is just days away! With warmer days come outdoor festivals, vacations, and farmer’s markets. As of research conducted in 2019, the U.S. had over 8,000 farmer’s markets operating each year. Each week, market shoppers are surprised and enticed by the seasonal produce available. Let’s look at eight reasons you should be eating seasonally from your local farmer’s market.

  1. Farmer’s markets reconnect us with our food sources. Children especially are farther and farther removed from how their food is grown and harvested. The farmer’s market is an excellent opportunity to introduce your family to how and where their food comes from.
  2. Seasonal produce is more nutritionally dense. Studies on broccoli harvests showed that broccoli harvested in its natural growing season had higher levels of Vitamin C. Allowing produce to work with the season and nature, and not against it, means you get more nutritious food for your money.
  3. Seasonal foods fresh from the farmer’s market have high water content, making them refreshing and delicious choices to stay hydrated on hot summer days.
  4. Seasonal produce has a phenomenal flavor! There is no comparison between a hot house tomato in November and a fresh vine-ripe tomato in early August. Seasonal produce is not forced to ripen before it is ready, so the flavors are allowed to develop as they should. Those developed flavors bring valuable nutrients as well. If you have a picky eater in the family, the flavors from the farmer’s market might just change their mind.
  5. Seasonal produce from the market has not been forced to appear ripe when it is not. To keep up with the demands for produce throughout the year, conventional farmers use gases and heat processes to make our produce look ready in the store. Because of how far it travels before arriving at your grocery store, produce is coated in wax to help protect it on its long journey.
  6. Better for our environment. Few think of the impact trucking or flying our products around the country has. Local farmers often utilize regenerative or organic practices to protect their land and water sources. They live in your community, so place a heightened priority on how they treat the land, water, and food.
  7. Farmer’s markets support local families and farms. These Mom and Pop operations make their living selling directly to those in their community. Many do not receive the government subsidies that large-scale conventional farmers get. They spend their time hands-on in the field to ensure your family gets healthy and nutritious produce.
  8. It’s fun! A trip to the farmer’s market is a fun morning out, engaging your senses, meeting the farmers and their families, and trying new things. It’s a fun challenge to incorporate what was new at the market into your weekly menu. How do you prepare a garlic scape? Can you sauté rainbow chard?

As we’ve often said before, eating a whole-food diet rich in fruits and vegetables of all colors is a staple of health and vitality. Many people struggle to get enough antioxidant and fiber-rich produce into their busy daily diets, and a trip to the farmer’s market may just be the thing to help. To find a local farmer’s market in your area or a local CSA (community supported agriculture), go to Local Harvest and find fresh seasonal produce near you.