A Few Reasons to Shop at a Farmers Market

Harvested Jerusalem ArtichokesI find it hard to believe that anyone really “needs” a reason to shop at a Farmers Market but just in the sad case you do, here are a few of my favorite reasons.

You get to buy and taste real food

What do I mean by that?  Go buy a carrot at the grocery store and then buy one at the farmers market.  Sit down somewhere and take a bite of the supermarket carrot (wash and peel it first, just to be safe). Then take a bite of the real carrot (just wipe it on your shirt tail and no need to peel).  Enough said.

You get fresh air and you can see the sky

Walk into your favorite store. Look up and remember what you see. Take a big sniff through your nose and remember that too. Now when you go to the farmers market, look up and take a sniff. See any ceiling tiles?  Smell any industrial cleaning materials?

Probably not; that’s the sky you see and that smell is fresh air, mixed with just harvested fruits and vegetables, newly cut flowers, some dirt and probably a lot of strong coffee.

You get to be social

When was the last time you were grocery shopping and you got to talk to someone. I mean really talk and not ask where something is and be pointed in a general direction. Did you get to talk with the person that grew the kale you are looking at or raised the chicken you are about to purchase. At the store, the conversation usually begins and ends with “paper or plastic?”

Now go to the farmers market. It’s almost impossible not to talk to someone at every stall. “What are those, you innocently ask?”

“Jerusalem artichokes, oh and they are also called sunchokes.”

“What in the world do you do with them?” That question will get you plenty of answers.

Beautiful Jerusalem Artichoke Flower

“They’re like potatoes kind of, but nuttier. I eat them raw, steamed, sauteed. I’ve made soup, gratins and even latkes with them. In Germany I hear they make a Jerusalem Artichoke Brandy, but be careful where you plant them because they’ll take over if you don’t watch them. Oh, I forgot to say they have more potassium than a banana and they are a member of the daisy family, imagine that!”

The farmers market is like a living Wikipedia page, try asking that question at your supermarket, they will probably tell you they think it’s ginger or something.

There are other reasons I shop at the farmers market but I’ll save those for another time.

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