Tis the Season!

Unknown farmer with tiller – Aldridge Family Archive

What’s that? You have no plans for Saturday morning? Now you do!

It’s the first weekend of May, and if you live in the Capital Region, you know what this means – the long awaited advent of the numerous area Farmers Markets! Our farmers have been busy in their high tunnels, hot houses and gardens for weeks, and early spring produce is becoming available. Don’t forget maple syrup, honey, craft brews, meats, poultry, eggs and other products which are available throughout the year.

So here’s the challenge. Are you ready? Instead of purchasing all of your produce at the grocery store for the next few months, what if you buy it from the farmer who grew it? The woman or man who planted, tended and harvested the food – across town and not across the country. Keep in mind this important statistic: Buying local is a noble endeavor, but when you buy local produce through the supermarket, the farmer gets only 15 cents on the dollar from that purchase. Yes, on average, 15 cents. That’s it. But if you buy that kale or bag of mesclun or bunch of basil from the farmer at the farmers market or at the farm stand, s/he receives the entire dollar. Would you rather have 15 cents, or a dollar? Yup. That’s money well spent on your behalf, and maximum return on investment for the farmer.

So by now you’ve made the decision to do the right thing and become a regular shopper at the farmers market for the next several weeks or months. Excellent choice! But which farmers market?

In our area, we have a plethora of choices in all neighborhoods and on many days of the week. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of choices – 49to be exact! Please share!!! No matter where you live or work, there’s likely a farmers market convenient to you. Pick one. Check out the spring greens and choose something to complete your next home cooked meal. Greet the farmer. Ask her how her winter was. Ask him what’s new on the farm. Best of all, show your appreciation by enjoying the farmers’ vegetables, and by keeping your dollars in the community.

If you choose to accept this challenge, I’d love to hear from you! Find a market that’s not on my list? Let me know and I’ll add it. Give a shout out if you find a farmer with the best berries, most delicious corn, or most tender brussel sprouts. Comment on this blog, or email me at sustainabletable518@hotmail.com.

Area Farmers Markets

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