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Why Farmer’s Markets Rock

Farm-to-table dining and interest in organic foods are on the rise and that means a lot more people are getting excited about farmer’s markets. And, that is all well and good. There are many benefits to shopping at farmer’s markets, not least of which is access to fresh “small-batch” food varieties that are more flavorful and healthy because they’re grown with more L-O-V-E and less pesticide. Here are few more reasons why it’s worth your while to shop local at your farmer’s market. <strong>Community Building and Investment</strong> It’s a special privilege to be able to meet the person who grows your food. It wasn’t so long ago that eating was viewed in a more intimate way; after all, these people are feeding your body and so are directly tied to your health and wellbeing. It behooves all of us to be more invested in our food origin. Then there’s the other side of the investment wherein your dollars stay local. This is also a big deal. Farmers who don’t (or can’t) compete with Big Agro and choose to sell food locally are making big sacrifices to bring an often very superior product to market. They deserve support for that effort. <strong>It’s Often Cheaper</strong> There’s a popular myth that these foods are far more expensive than those found at big-box grocers, but that's often not the case. Local farmers have ways of saving money that can make their foods less expensive even though they are of higher quality. Lower costs in terms of overhead, shipping, seed purchasing and chemical use can translate into big savings for those who frequent farmer’s markets. <strong>More than Just Food</strong> Long story short: Farmer’s markets are fun! While some of them may feature only produce vendors, many others are full-on fairs with food, music and entertainment. Some also support a wide range of local artisans who make all kinds of stuff: soaps, furniture, flowers, clothing, candies and art are just a few things you might find at your farmer’s market. <strong>Healthy Choices</strong> But, let’s not forget the farmers. Farmer’s markets are really all about the food, or should be. Delicious fruits and veggies, fresh-baked breads, meats, cheeses and other dairy products are often the order of the day, but you’ll want to get there early to get the pick of the patch. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes you enjoy your next trip to your local farmer’s market. To find local farms, farmer's markets and fresh foods grown near you, try using the amazing search functions found at localharvest.org.
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