Ah, summer! Days spent by the pool, trips to the county fair, and homemade popsicles are all on the horizon. One of the most exciting regular events of the summertime, however, is the local farmer’s market! Often featured at these recurring seasonal events are fresh ingredients from nearby farms, art sales, craft stations, and local entertainment. It’s a great opportunity to stock up on some yummy produce, find a new favorite jewelry or art piece, and spend some quality time with your neighbors.
If you’re not sold on ‘em yet, here are four more reasons why you should support your local farmer’s markets!
Directly Support & Connect With Your Community
By purchasing ingredients directly from a local farmer or artisan, you’re putting that money straight into their business and supporting their livelihood. Family farmers often have a difficult time competing with factory farms and mass production, and your patronage provides them with valuable return on their produce. This is a much more personal and transparent transaction than one you might take part in at your average grocery store.
Stopping by a stand at a local market also allows you to meet your neighbors, discuss recipe or craft ideas with others, and learn about how your produce was grown or how your new piece of art was created.
Pro-tip: Don’t be afraid to ask farmers for recommendations on how to prepare certain foods! They’re often extremely passionate about their work and have loads of knowledge on different ingredients, preparation methods, and flavors.
Do Right By The Environment
In purchasing local produce, there are many ways in which you’re reducing your carbon footprint. A direct sale between a farmer and a consumer immediately removes the concerns that come with the simulated ripening or undesirable processing of different products. You’re also reducing the need for bulk packaging and shipping boxes and fuel, and buying the amount you need rather than a pre-packaged portion lessens the chance of food going to waste.
Pro-tip: Bring a reusable shopping or produce bag with you to the market. These can be bought from a small business owner, or you can even make one yourself!
Know Where Your Purchases Come From
When you buy something from a local vendor as opposed to from a big-box grocer or warehouse, you know it’s being handed off to you straight from the original source. Whether it’s a farmer selling you some freshly-harvested veggies or an artist providing you with a one-of-a-kind, handmade product, you can feel confident in your purchase being free of the weight of mass-production or over-processing, and farmers are often happy to explain their processes to you.
Take A Chance On New Ingredients
Because farmer’s markets’ offerings change depending on the season, you’re sure to encounter opportunities to try new-to-you ingredients throughout the year. Seasonal produce also results in the most intense flavors to please your palate! Whether it’s a new fruit, vegetable, or spice, you’re guaranteed to have a vibrant multitude of options at your disposal during each and every venture. Farmers might even be willing to share their family recipes if you ask nicely!
Visiting the farmer’s market can be an amazing way to learn about the efforts made by your local farmers and artisans and find some new favorite vendors to support. It’s also an opportunity to become more deeply connected with the land your town rests on, and support those who are doing their part to be good stewards of that land. If you’re located in Las Vegas and looking to check out some nearby offerings, here is a list of local farmer’s markets that take place throughout the week!
Las Vegas Farmer’s Market Locations
Bruce Trent Park, 8851 W. Vegas Dr., Wednesdays from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Skye Canyon, 10115 W. Skye Canyon Park Dr., Thursdays from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Downtown Summerlin, 1980 Festival Plaza Dr., Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs, 9100 Tule Springs Rd., 3rd Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Downtown 3rd, 300 N. Casino Center Dr., Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 – p.m.
Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Pkwy., Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Galleria at Sunset, 1300 W. Sunset Rd., Fridays from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
What’s your favorite part of visiting your local farmer’s market? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
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