It's summer, and local farmers markets have “sprouted up,” giving us new opportunities for buying fresh produce, socializing and more.
Farmers markets are retail markets set up for local farmers, artisans and food vendors to sell goods. You can count on fresh, quality produce and products to incorporate into your healthy lifestyle. Here are eight reasons to consider shopping at your local farmers market.
- Fresh is best - Most people would agree a freshly picked garden tomato tastes far better and is no comparison to the store bought equivalent. Produce purchased from farmers markets has been picked ripe and ready to eat--often the day before or same day of the market. The food does not have to be altered or processed to allow for transit and an extended shelf life in the grocery store. Processing fruits and vegetables, such as by canning and freezing, can also compromise nutrition value--another reason fresh, whole produce is superior.
- Health is even better - Everyone benefits from eating more fruits and vegetables, which are full of vitamins and antioxidants. Produce is the most underconsumed food group for most people. Eating the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily will decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease and many other chronic diseases.
- Choose from a large selection of organic and natural foods - Organic, cage free, grass fed, no antibiotics, GMO free and “natural” are just a few of the recent trends in healthy eating. Local grocery stores are responding to this increased demand; however farmers markets have a much larger selection of these products usually for a more reasonable price.
- Food trucks - Food trucks have become increasingly popular in our community, and most of these business feature local chefs and cooks offering a variety of menu items you may not find available year round. See which trucks are near you and enjoy an active lunch break by meeting coworkers at the farmers market instead of hitting up the same restaurants.
- Food isn’t everything - Many markets now sell more than seasonal produce. Flowers, crafts, handmade clothing, art, local restaurants and food vendors are just a few goods and services available from your farmers market.
- Support local farmers and artisans - Purchasing directly from local farmers allows more money to stay in the community instead of companies based far away. Money is not spent on transit and prolonging shelf life, which means more money for the farmers and artisan, and more money in your pocket. This strengthens the local economy which benefits everyone.
- Exercise and fresh air - Visiting the farmers market is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the warm weather and walk along the vendor path.
- Family fun - Visit the individual market websites for announcements about live music, bouncy houses, animal exhibits, free giveaways and other activities frequently offered.
Many farmers markets also now welcome SNAP. Check their websites and Facebook pages for more details.
There are several Farmer’s Markets available in the Evansville area including the following:
Market on Main
Wednesdays, 9:30 - 1:30, through September
Plaza outside The Ford Center, at Main and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Henderson Farmers Market
Days and times may vary.
Warrick County Farmers Market
Saturdays 7:30am – 12:00pm, through October
Boonville Square, Harold Gunn Pavilion
Historic Newburgh Farmers Market
Saturdays 8:00am – 12:00pm, through September 14
Corner of State & Water Streets, Newburgh IN
Franklin Street Bazaar
Saturdays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, through August
Lawn of the West Library, 2000 W. Franklin Street