I looked out of my window the other day and saw this hanging up!
Spring is here and one of the things I am very excited for is the start of the seasonal farmers market right around the corner from my house. The Novato farmer’s market is every Tuesday evening from now until fall. I am so very blessed because it is literally a 1 minute walking distance from my house!
I do my very best to buy most of my fruits and vegetables from the local farmer’s market because they care about they do. To them it’s more than just a job, it’s their passion and because it’s their passion you can definitely taste the difference in the food- tomatoes actually taste homegrown.
When you buy from a farmer at the market you are supporting a family business.
When you buy from a farmer at the market you are supporting people who authentically care about what goes into the food they produce.
When you buy from a farmer at the market you are supporting sustainable farming which in turn helps the environment.
When you buy from a farmer at the market you are helping to grow the economy.
When you buy from a farmer at the market you are face to face with the people growing your food.
When you buy from a farmer at the market you are able to ask the many important questions regarding how the food is grown, what type of feed the animals are given and how the animals are treated.
When you buy from a farmer at the market you expose yourself to seasonal items which leads to experimentation of new foods.
So you see, buying from a farmer at the market is more than just buying food. It is so crucial not only to the health of ourselves, our loved ones and to the animals but also to the environment and local farming communities.
Please note that buying local food doesn’t always mean it is sustainably produced. Local food manufacturing can involve many unhealthy things like pesticides, factory farming, hormone and antibiotic use, and chemical fertilizers. It is imperative to make sure the farmer uses sustainable methods. When something is sustainably grown it means the food production methods are healthy, production doesn’t harm the environment, workers are respected, animals are treated humanely, fair wages are provided to farmers, and farming communities are supported.
Also, just because the food isn’t certified USDA organic doesn’t mean it hasn’t been sustainably grown. The problem with getting food certified USDA organic is the amount of paperwork it requires to document everything. To the small farmer who does everything on the farm plus more doesn’t have the time and manpower to document every little thing. They are too busy out in the field caring for their produce or livestock. They don’t have the money to hire someone to take care of all the paperwork therefore they can not become certified organic.
In the case of a non-certified organic farmer it is important to ask questions about their sustainability. Questions to ask include: what type of pest control methods are used, what type of fertilizers are used (if any chemical fertilizers are used, move onto the next farmer), how many different types of crops are grown (diversity is key to sustainability), and you can even ask why they are not certified organic.
Farmers who use sustainable methods are very open and willing to answer any questions about their farming. If you start asking questions and you get a bad vibe or they are unwilling to take the time to answer questions, it’s probably best to move on.
The biggest step in buying from a farmer’s market is to find one near you. I found a website that you can type in your zip code and it will give you the closest farmer’s market to you. To find a farmer’s market near you please click here.
Best of luck to you in finding a market close to you. It’s always fulfilling to know you are helping a greater cause especially when it involves the health and happiness of yourself.