Tag Archives: Farmer’s markets

Support your local farmer

16 Jul

We have a dynamite regional farmer’s market here in Baltimore. Located underneath the end of the Jones Falls Expressway, this market features local produce, seafood. flowers and some local crafts. Before my disability, I was able to patronize  their wide array of offerings. Alas, I cannot attend the market anymore, but this isn’t the reason why I am writing this post. I want all my readers to consider the merits of buying local, seasonal and fresh.

Market stall photo courtesy of freefoto.com

Market stall photo courtesy of freefoto.com

When you buy local, you know where your food is coming from. The food is grown on a small scale, and escape some of the pitfalls (diseases) that can be prevalent with industrial food production.  Local farmers are also big proponents of organic methods of farming, so it’s more than likely that your local farmer uses natural fertilizers and pesticides ( or pesticide free) to grow his wares. The local farmer is also closer to the food. He or she looks at it and touches it everyday, making sure that it is free of blemishes and the occasional pesky worm or bug. Your local farmer has a personal investment in what he or she sells, so naturally they will only put up the best for their customers. Roadside stands are also great; I had the best cantaloupe in my life a few years ago; my sister went to a roadside stand in Delaware ( it was four blocks from her home).

Buying local also give you a chance to try new things at a reduced price. When you buy straight from the source, you avoid the middle man. Our market has a variety of offerings that vary as the season goes on, from cherries, peaches and berries in May, to fresh collards, pumpkins squash and apples in September. Buying local also enables you to buy seasonally. This is the way nature intended us to eat. Who likes winter melons, tomatoes, and peaches? They always look so anemic and unappetizing. Yes, shipping innovations have allowed us to have these fruits and vegetables all year round, but where does the food come from?  I would rather wait for an ear of Silver Queen fro a farmer on the Eastern Shore, than have it shipped from Mexico.

Lastly, your support of these local outdoor markets pump much-needed money back into the local economy. The more we patronize these farmers, the more they can continue to provide us with fresh and wholesome food. We had several food scares in the past 4 years, from baby greens and spinach, to tomatoes. They were able to trace back where the lettuces came from, not so much with the tomatoes. Now the FDA is saying that we should be careful of fresh jalapeños as well. You won’t have to worry about that with local farmers. When you buy local, you preserve a part of history and a way of life. Whenever you see a new  housing development in the suburbs, you can believe it was once someone’s farm that went out of business.

So spend this weekend exploring your local farmer’s market ( Sunday if you plan to visit the municipal market in Baltimore). It is good for your wallet, your tummy, and your soul.

And, the farmers will thank you.