Farmers’ Markets

Our local Farmers’ Market started up again here in my hometown of Moscow, Idaho, and that got me to thinking, do all of you know how wonderful farmers’ markets are?

First of all, they’ve been around forever. Since ancient times, farmers have been selling their produce and other goods to people. But in the last 20 years, there has been a significant resurgence.

Secondly, you can find a farmers’ market in practically every country and every community around the world.

Seriously—mountains, beaches, deserts … anywhere there are things that grow and people who eat.

The best part is the personal touch of a farmers’ market. Here’s what my family would bring in from our garden when I was a kid.

After I grew up (and of course bought a farm) and took my crops to town to be sold, I loved seeing who my veggies were going home with. When I have my consumer hat on, I love meeting the farmer who grows my food.

Buying direct from the person who planted and harvested your food is like sharing a meal with them. And that’s kinda nice, isn’t it?

Plus, going to market is just plain fun. Many markets, ours included, have live music from local musicians, and creative local craftspeople selling all sorts of good things like yummy-smelling candles and soaps, sparkling jewelry, and funky clothes. But it’s about more than shopping, of course.

It’s about community: friends, neighbors, and families gathering in the warm sunshine of spring and summer.

(Speaking of sunshine, hopefully we’ll have more of that in Idaho soon.)

Most important, it’s about supporting your farmers … and getting piles of fresh, organic, locally grown food to feed your brood back home.

So, if you’re not already a regular at a farmers’ market, make it a point to go this summer. If you’re not sure where the closest one is, try looking online (www.localharvest.org) or calling the closest co-op or natural food store; they’re bound to know.

Get out and get local, girls. Farmers’ markets are a fantastic way for a farmgirl to get fresh!

Leave a comment 12 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Yes, our Farmer’s Market looks a bit like yours!! It is indeed a place to connect with the community and purchase wonderful products right from the farm. I love knowing where my food comes from and I love helping farmers continue their vital work by buying from them. Not to mention that the markets are just plain fun!!! In Florida we have produce that is available year round, but right now the markets have exploded with everything wonderful!! We just celebrated the local Zucchini festival and crowned the Queen. Next up is the Watermelon Festival and Blueberry Festival!! The comes the blistering heat of summer and things die down until September!!

    • MaryJane says:

      A Zucchini Queen? No way!!!! Queen of Zucchini? Love it. I once lived in a town that celebrated Wheat & Beet Days annually and crowned a Miss Wheat & Beet. “Hey, fellas, mind your manners, do you know who you’re talking to?”

  2. Dianne Greco says:

    Our farmers market just started here in Port Jefferson, Long Island, New York. Our local east end farmers come out each year and sell everything from potatoes to the best broccoli you ever tasted to roasted corn. There are always home made cookies and pies and a smattering of crafts just to keep it interesting. The biggest problem is deciding where to start; healthy vegetables or delectable goodies… Don’t you just love summer?

  3. Judy says:

    How about posting some links to help readers locate farmers markets near them?
    I’ll go first…
    http://www.agr.state.il.us/markets/farmers/
    http://www.thepromenadebolingbrook.com/spotlight/1549
    http://www.wheaton.il.us/calendar/detail.aspx?id=2490&linkidentifier=id&itemid=2490
    Protip – the market at the Promenade Bolingrook on Thursdays has a booth full of baked goodies run by an Amish family – best whoopie pies besides my own that I’ve ever tasted!

    I love going to the seasonal markets, but we’re also lucky enough to have some farms in the area that run farmstands, too. And by farmstands, I mean places that are as large as a grocery store, and better stocked. Check out these two.
    http://www.wagnerfarmstand.com/
    http://www.maynelandfarm.com/

  4. calle says:

    Love Farmers Markets.

    My only concerns today are as follows.

    1. Some crafty people go buy at the produce houses and sell as if they have grown it.

    2. Some make claims on Sour dough breads that those with “Celiac” can eat their breads.

    3. Some charge such outrageous prices.

    4. And some don’t like you to ask about what they feed their chickens, or how they are raised.
    We prefer the smaller markets, rather than the 6 block long ones.
    We love the ones with music, arts crafts and bundles of home grown flowers by new immigrants.

    And a park or grassy area. Those hot concrete places are so hard for the vendors who have to be there so long.

  5. Karlyne says:

    Way back when my daughters would attend U of I’s summer dance workshop, one of my favorite things to do in Moscow was attend the farmer’s market. I especially loved the fresh cheese stand, the feta dripping out of the brine. You have a really good market up there!

  6. BB king says:

    I love farmer’s markets and the nation’s oldest is in Lancaster , Lancaster county , PA. near where I live. Called the Central market.
    http://www.centralmarketlancaster.com/

    I have happy childhood memories of the Lexington Market in Baltimore MD. alas torn down but a new market is nearby.
    When I was a child the farmers would come to your home in horse or mule drawn wagons. I loved that.

  7. CJ Armstrong says:

    Our local farmers market has been in existence for decades. My dad would sell his apples and apple cider there (until it couldn’t be sold if not pasteurized). My daughter, Robin, used to help him when she was in grade school. Those were the days when you just sold out of the back of your pickup truck and there was no fee.
    My hubby and I were craft vendors at the same market for several years, but haven’t been doing that for the last 2-3 years. Things have changed a lot and you can find all kinds of things at the market, including a massage.
    They are wonderful opportunities for selling and buying, even bartering. We did a lot of bartering when we were vendors. An apron for an equal supply of spinach, etc.
    It runs from June through October. I do miss being a vendor . . . sometimes. I don’t miss the early morning setups and dealing with the weather! (Still too dark and chilly at 6 AM in June and then again in October)

  8. Krista says:

    We have a farmers market near by our town as well. I haven’t been to it yet but plan on checking it out this year. I have heard many good things about our farmers market. Now just to load up the boys and have a fun new adventure learning from some locals.

  9. Lynnia says:

    The pic of your family and produce is absolutely gorgeous. What a great thing to pass down thru the generations!
    Made my day sunny!

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