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Enjoy Fresh Produce from Your Local Farmers Market
Want to eat healthy and support local businesses at the same time? Consider making a point of doing your produce shopping at your local farmers market. Many people who own small to medium size farms rely on selling products through locally owned farmers markets to earn a living.
Many farmers sell their produce through distributors as well a through farmers markets. Some, however, rely solely on farmers markets to earn an income from the fruits of their labor. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2000, there are 19,000 farmers in the United States who rely solely on farmers markets to move their produce.
Shopping at farmers markets is an important way to support agricultural professionals living and working in their local communities. You'll also benefit from getting the freshest possible produce, since the fruits and vegetables stocked in farmers markets don't have to be shipped great differences before being made available to consumers.
If you're interested in finding a farmers market in your area, see the online Farmers Market Directory. It's easy to find a farmers market in your area. Simply click on your state in the site's index, and you'll be able to view the farmers markets in alphabetical order by city. You'll see their addresses and telephone numbers. Additional information provided include hours of operation, seasonal schedules, and whether or not facilities are indoors or open air.
Keep in mind that the inventory at any farmers market you come across will vary based on region and season. You'll find whatever fruits and vegetables are grown locally and are in season. When you find your favorites, it's a good idea to stock up on them, particularly if you are able to can or freeze them to enjoy when they're out of season.
Many farmers markets also carry other types of locally produced food products. For example, you'll often find freshly baked breads and desserts, homemade candy, apple cider, and delicious preserves on display at farmers markets. You never know what types of delicious treats you might come across when visiting a local farmers market.
Some farmers markets carry cookbooks written by local authors, many of which emphasize the use of the fresh fruits and vegetables you are able to purchase from the market. You'll surely need to know how to prepare all of the delicious goodies you find at the farmers market, so you may want to pick up a cookbook or two.