Across the US, farmers markets are reopening for the season to provide communities with locally grown produce and much more. Visiting the farmers market is more than just another shopping trip. Here are some of the things we think you’ll enjoy the most about visiting the farmers markets in your area.

Things to Love About the Farmers Market

  1. A productive way to start your day. It helps to get to the market early for the best selection and variety. Once you’re up and you’ve completed your market shopping, you have the rest of the day ahead of you to build on that momentum.

  2. Fresh air and exercise. Most farmers markets are open-air or outdoors and may cover a good amount of ground. Walking around the market is a fun way to get in extra steps for the day while enjoying the weather and accomplishing errands at the same time.

  3. Kick-start to healthier eating. The recommended daily allowance of fruit and vegetables is five servings per day. The farmers market is the ideal place to get fruits and vegetables in season when they’re at the peak of flavor and freshness. Depending on the vendors at your market, you may be able to find local foods from all levels of the food pyramid!

  4. Saving on your grocery bill. Research shows that farmers markets offer food at prices equivalent to or lower than grocery stores. There are also numerous food assistance programs in place at farmers markets to assist shoppers with low or limited incomes.

  5. A chance to spend time with family or friends. One or more shopping companions will make your shopping trip more fun. Consider scheduling a regular weekly farmers market visit with people who appreciate the experience as much as you do.

  6. Changing the minds of picky eaters. Visiting the farmers market and talking to the people who grow the food can help your picky family members or friends see certain foods in a whole new light. It can also introduce them (and you!) to new foods that the family hasn’t had before.

  7. Supporting your local farmers. The money you spend stays in your community and in most cases goes directly to the farmers who grew the crops you’re purchasing. That’s a boost your local economy can use.

  8. Good for the environment. Buying local means that the food has been transported a much shorter distance, which translates into less fuel burned and less pollution created.

  9. Finding cramp-reducing nutrients. Two of the minerals cited most by medical professionals for preventing or reducing leg cramps are potassium and magnesium. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens are great sources of potassium. Magnesium is found in a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, many of which you will find at the farmers market in season.

  10. Inspiration for your own gardening. Once you become more aware of what produce grows in your area, you may want to try your hand at growing some of it yourself! Some vendors even sell seedlings to help get you started.

Check out your local farmers market this weekend to enjoy all of these benefits! Here’s a resource from the USDA for looking up farmers markets near you.