Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

a guide to farmer's markets


With it being the middle of summer, farmer's markets are in full swing across the country, and their popularity is on the rise. If you're interested in making a trip to your nearest farmer's market, but haven't checked one out yet, this guide will help you navigate your way around!




 

Finding a farmer's market can be pretty easy - from doing some online searching to asking around town. LocalHarvest.org is a great database of farmer's markets around the country, and allows you to search by zip code to find the ones nearest you. You can also look on local event calendars for your city. Or simply ask around! Chances are, someone's got scoop on your local markets.

Typically, farmer's markets are held on Saturday mornings, but not always! There's one market in Lafayette, Freetown Farmer's Market, that's open on Wednesday afternoons and late Saturday mornings (for those of us who just can't get up and out the door for 8am on Saturdays!) The other two markets in Lafayette are the Market at the Horse Farm (pictured above) and the Hub City Farmer's Market.


You have a bike? Ride it! Make your eco morning (or afternoon) come full circle and use earth-friendly transportation instead of a car.




The selection at your farmer's market will vary from week to week, depending on what the farmer harvested during the week, what's in season and, simply, who shows up to sell their goods. Sometimes you might find all fruits and vegetables, sometimes you can get herbs, sometimes there might be meat or fish available, and sometimes you might find eggs or bread. Some farmer's markets expand to nonfood items as well, such as the Market at the Horse Farm. They have vendors who sell homemade soaps and jewelry, so you can find a broad range of items in one small area. If your farmer's market has a website or Facebook page, you may be able to get scoop on the types of food being sold on the upcoming weekend, or just see which farm vendors typically attend. (For you Lafayette-ians, visit the Facebooks for the Horse Farm and Hub City markets.



Be sure to bring cash! Some of the larger farm vendors are able to take credit cards, but some of the smaller vendors may not. Cash will be your friend. And don't forget your cloth bag! You can load up one bag and save on a lot of wasteful plastic, and then you'll get to walk around all stylish like this:




Now that you've got great local groceries, you should probably figure out what to do with them. Try out a recipe you've had on hand, or find one online that uses your ingredients. Chances are, it will taste awesome, because let's face it, local food is just much better. Homegrown tomatoes happen to be one of my favorite things in the world. So much juicier and more flavorful than grocery store tomatoes. Nom nom.


You can eliminate the amount of waste from your farmer's market goods by properly disposing of it. The best thing is to use everything you've bought before it goes bad, leaving no waste. But if you have food scraps, consider composting them. If you have any recyclable waste, you know what to do with it! As a last resort, throw your waste in the trash.

Now get out there and do some shopping!

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