Summer is finally here! The sun is shining, the bees buzzing and gardens are growing. In a perfect world we could step into our back yards and be able to pick the best produce the season has to offer,but most of us are not so fortunate. The next best thing to being there is only steps away at your local farmers market. The sights, sounds, taste and smell of the farmers market evokes a feeling of excitement that is synonymous celebrating the bounty of summer season.
Fresh local food brimming with vitality and nutrients can be found at farmers markets across the country. Not only does the farmers market provide access to fresh, quality food, it also provides an opportunity to connect the farmer with the consumer and helps to establish a link from the farm to the plate. It provides an opportunity to take pleasure in the process of shopping for food while simultaneously supporting the local farmer and economy while reducing your carbon footprint. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the numbers of farmers markets have more than tripled in the past fifteen years. There are now more than 6,100 farmers markets around the country.
Consumers today, have a growing interest in supporting the local farmer. There is increasing interest not only in obtaining quality produce that is preferably local and sustainable but also that meat and fish are also sourced locally with socially responsible practices. According to the National Restaurant Associations Top Trends survey, locally sourced produce, meats and fish topped the list of hot trends for 2011.
Visiting your local farmers market is a great way to meet local farmers and discover local food. For most of us, living off the land, is only just a dream. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of local farmers, that dream can be woven into reality. Celebrate the abundance of the season and support your local farmers market.
To find locations of farmers markets across the country or find out which local foods are in season visit the Nation Resource Defense Council’s website at: http://www.simplesteps.org/eat-local