Why Shop at the Farmer’s Market?
By Lisa White and Olivia Banta
We are so very fortunate to have Farmer’s Markets abound in our immediate area. In addition to the wonderful Saturday morning Doylestown Farmer’s Market in our own front yard, the Ottsville Market “up the road”, and the Wrightstown Market “across the way”, there are six more seasonal farmer’s markets in our region
Time, providers, entertainment, and organizers all differ from market to market. What stays the same is that each Farmer’s Market in our region is an opportunity!
An opportunity to:
1. Meet your farmers and producers and shake their hands! There are few places where we can still, quite literally, shake the hand that feeds us at the most basic level. Here you can personally thank your farmer for growing or raising the marvelous food that graces your table in season. You can thank the producer of your favorite soap/ jam/jelly/syrup/pie/bread/wool/….. You can give them direct feedback about what products you like best and help shape future harvests or products. Most importantly, buying from them directly helps them to be there to greet and serve you. They are giving to all of us of time away from their farms.
2. Get the freshest of the fresh! Generally, food harvested or prepared for market is as fresh as it can get except for what you pick out of your own garden or prepare in your own kitchen. Appreciate the amazing taste sensation of enjoying fruit and vegetable varieties grown for taste, not travel. Savor the flavor of fruits and vegetables picked at their perfection, not far in advance in preparation for long travel trips.
3. Learn something new! Each week, most of our area farmer’s markets host tables of charitable, social, and/or simply community groups who share with you their missions and visions. Check them out. Often, there are cooking demonstrations or other opportunities to learn ways to serve up those surprising new vegetables that keep showing up at the market. Often, these vegetables are known throughout the world but have been lost to us here.
4. Feast your eyes! The colors and variety of the market displays are truly beautiful. Capture them with your eyes or your camera.
5. Listen to the music! Most of our area markets have some type of live entertainment or music each week. Hear a new artist you’ve never heard or see an “old friend”. Putting some money in their baskets lets them know you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard. Buying a CD let’s them know you’ve really enjoyed it!
7. Join the Party! So many friends and neighbors come out to enjoy the day and visit their local farmers and producers that you are sure to meet and greet so many people you know.
6. Support a cause! Often the markets profits go to support causes. The Doylestown Farmer’s Market, run by the Buckingham Township Civic Association for the last 40 years, supports food pantries, a community garden (which also provides for a food pantry), Easter Egg Hunts, and much more.