Finding Your Inner Locavore

During the summer months people emerge from their homes in search of fresh air and local organic foods—and what better way to get both than at your neighborhood farmers’ market? Not only will you reap the many rewards of walking around in the outdoors, but the market will provide local produce, fresh flowers, music, meat, and dairy products.

While there are a great many benefits to the farmers’ market, possibly the biggest advantage is that you have the ability to speak directly to the producers. Is their produce free of GMOs? How are their animals raised and kept? What do they use for fertilizer?

Another reason to shop farmers’ markets is to support the local movement. Food writer Michael Pollan—best known for his works The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food—wrote an essay for The New York Review of Books saying, “Someone buying food may be acting not just as a consumer but also as a neighbor, a citizen, a parent, a cook. In many cities and towns, farmers’ markets have taken on (and not for the first time) the function of a lively new public square.”

Farmers’ markets are booming: in 1994 there were 1,755 nationally and by 2012 there were 7,864, so there may be one closer than you think. But how to find them? The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service website will provide you with current listings of all farmers’ markets across the US (search ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/). If you want to ensure you are at an organic farmers’ market, try localharvest.org. Word of mouth is also a great way to find exactly what you are looking for in your area!

Here are some that were recommended through our modern word-of-mouth machine, i.e. Facebook. If you live in any of these areas, check them out and tell us what you think!

>>Edith Hughes says Proctor Farmers’ Market, Tacoma, WA.

>>Yovina Miller recommends HeadHouse Square Farmers’ Market on Sundays in Philadelphia.

>>Teresa Clark Ross says Las Cruces Farmers’ Market in the historic section of old town Las Cruces, NM.

>>Danielle Messina says Union Square Greenmarket in New York City

>>Nature Island Botanicals says Santa Monica Green Market on Saturdays in Santa Monica, CA.

>>Joanna Queen Stachura says Peachtree City Farmers’ Market is year-round in Peachtree City, GA!