Farmers markets have been around for decades. The only difference is that decades ago they were on the actual farm, not behind the local mall or empty library parking lot on Saturday. When grandma got her produce/dairy/eggs it was from either her farm or the local farm up the road. She could always be guaranteed that her produce was fresh, her milk was wholesome and her eggs came from hens that laid them in a nest.
Farmers markets were developed to help local farmers get their products sold at a fair price. This was especially good for those farms who were not big enough to sell to the masses yet too big to privately consume all that they produce. This is a huge advantage for the consumer. Because these products are either produced or harvested sometimes within hours of selling at the farmers market, they are very fresh. Most items are also cheaper than at the grocery store because there aren’t any middlemen to pay or stores to operate.
The best thing is that farmers markets only have items that are locally in season. I believe that when produce is in season, it tastes the best. We are fortunate in this day and age to have a variety of exotic fruits and vegetables from around the world thanks to planes, trains, and automobiles; but how far did that item have to travel to get to you? Is that item the freshest it can be?
Farmers markets can also become a part of a RUSTIC LIFESTYLE. This could become your one stop you make for all of your in season local produce. Please don’t think this is a boring way to go, every season has it’s bounty. I know some of you live in areas that have very short growing seasons, like I do, this shouldn’t stop you from seeking out in season items. I only have a farmers market one day a week, June 1 to October 1. This doesn’t stop me from asking my local grocery store to carry in season items that are produced as close to us as possible. Also when the items are in season, I buy in bulk and start canning. This is a new found love of mine, it is fun and I get to re-create old school recipes that my grandmother got from her grandmother. No this doesn’t take the place of fresh, but honestly I don’t miss fresh strawberries too much when I open that jar of homemade jam I made.