6 reasons to shop at your local Farmer’s Markets

Farmer’s markets have fresh, local fruits and veggies that come straight from farms to your plate. Haven’t been to the farmer’s market before? Well, the benefits to stopping at your local farmer’s market are endless!

Let’s start with 6 reasons to stop and shop at your local farmer’s market this summer:

Fresh Flavor and Nutrition.

The fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market are seasonal and freshly picked, so they offer the best flavor and nutrition.

2. Supports local farms. The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) states food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate, which uses large amounts of fossil fuels, adds to pollution, and makes garbage with extra packaging. Buying food from the farmer’s market helps the environment as food travels shorter distances and is often grown in ways that have a smaller impact on the earth.

Cost and Variety.

Organic produce is often more low cost at farmer’s markets when compared to grocery stores. Also, many farmers may have foods that are pesticide free. Farmer’s markets offer a variety of produce along with new items that are often not on hand in your normal grocery store.

Health. Farmer’s markets help make healthy foods available while tasting great. According to the USDA, eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables may cut risk for heart disease and may protect against certain types of cancers. Fruits and vegetables are generally lower in calories than many other snack foods, which may be useful in helping to control daily calorie intake.

To Learn. Another advantage of shopping at farmer’s markets is that you can talk to the farmer to learn about their growing methods and decide for yourself before buying. Farmer’s markets are a way for the community to learn where our food comes from. Farmers are often willing to share ways of cooking their produce for new meal ideas.

Family Fun! Visiting the farmer’s market makes shopping fun while enjoying a nice day outdoors with the whole family. Kids can pick out something new to try, and then can help make a meal or snack using the new foods they found.

Three of the farmer’s market locations in Sheboygan County:

Sheboygan – Fountain Park, 8th Street and Erie Ave, June-October on Wednesdays 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Plymouth – 2133 Eastern

Avenue, June 15-Oct. 12 on Thursdays 12 – 5:30 p.m.

Elkhart Lake – 41 East Rhine Street, June 3 – Oct. 14 on Saturdays 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Help support your local farmers and shop these markets this summer. Visit www. sheboygancountyinter faith.org or call 920-4577272 x111 for more information and for a schedule of special events.

Beth Teunissen is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Sheboygan County Health & Human Services.