I keep hearing this rumor that Spring will be here soon.
You know, Spring? When it’s supposed to stop snowing and warm, gentle breezes kiss your cheeks as you walk down the floral-lined sidewalks?
I keep hoping these rumors are true for a lot of reasons. The biggest is definitely not my seasonal allergies. No, I’m excited for something else Spring brings.
During Spring and summertime you can find local stands in your communities that sell all kinds of great food at cheaper than grocery store prices. When you shop at these stands, you’re buying direct from the farmer.
By buying direct you’re saving money, and you’re helping your community out, too. Your local farmers actually make more money by selling direct to you at a retail price than selling to those middlemen, as they purchase from the farmers at wholesale prices.
Cutting Costs and Carbon Emissions
By shopping at farmers markets, you’re eliminating food transportation costs along with costs associated with packaging the product. These costs aren’t just monetary.
There aren’t many ways to be green while saving money UP FRONT, but farmers markets are one of them. The manufacturing of many–though not all–plastic products is now eliminated, as is the waste of the plastic itself.
Then, of course, less transportation means less gas used which we all know is a great thing for the planet.
Organizations like the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture also help local farmers operate their farms in a way that is not intrusive to the environment. A lot of the markets in my area are associated with them.
Eating Well on Less
You’re saving money. You’re supporting your neighbors and local economy. You’re being green on purpose or as a fringe benefit.
But you’re also going to be eating healthy. A majority of what these markets provide is produce grown in your area. In Pennsylvania, that means corn on the cob along with myriads of other fruits and vegetables.
At some stands you can also get locally grown flowers, locally made baked goods and prepared foods, and other products.
There are farmers markets across the country–the world, even–so don’t hesitate to locate one in your area. You can do so by using the USDA’s nifty tool.
Happy and healthy shopping!