Healthy Balance, Healthy Life

Trip to the Farmers Market!

Posted on: August 16, 2010

I’ve lived literally a mile from the local farmers market here in Burlington, Vermont for 2 months now and I have yet to go until today (tisk tisk!). My friend Carrie asked me to meet her there and I was excited to make the date because I knew I’d have no excused to sleep in and do nothing all morning (I find myself having trouble being motivated to get out and do things on my own without a scheduled plan. This needs to change!). So I woke myself up at 8 AM and got ready to go. I packed some cash, strapped on my CamelBak backpack and sneakers, and jogged down. Carrie and I were overwhelmed (in a good way) by all of the selection: produce and meat at most every stand, jewelry, homemade housewares, art work, flowers, natural food vendors, and the occasional niche vendor (one was Dinky Donuts for example).

I think the coolest part of going was seeing what produce is supposed to look like. Without all of the chemicals and pesticides, the produce was way smaller and not as perfectly shaped and colored as what you find in the supermarket.

The size of the produce, watermelons, eggplants, etc. seemed to be perfectly portioned by mother nature. The watermelons could be held completely in one hand!

We also got pretty excited to see beans being sold still attached to their stalks. It's sad that we've lived 22 years and have yet to see the food we eat in its natural state.

So I bought:

PURPLE Bell Peppers

A few varieties of summer squash

Raw Honey (awesome in greek yogurt!). I'll do a post on the health benefits of raw honey too.

I’m planning on grilling the veggies or using them in a stir fry–we’ll see!

So, enough of this reminiscing–what’s so good about farmers markets? There’s a lot of reasons to stop by and pick up some goodies! Specifically:

It’s good for the farmers

  • They cut out the middleman so they can reap more profit from their hard work.
  • They can get direct feedback from buyers on what they can do to improve the quality of their product.
  • They travel less to get their produce to consumers, and thus less travel cost incurred.

It’s good for us

  • We know exactly what we’re eating — We know who’s growing your produce and meat and can ask any questions directly to them.
  • They make fresh, chemical free food accessible. After produce is picked, it starts to lose its nutrients. Fresh food = more nutrients!
  • Market prices are often lower than those at the grocery store. Less cash, more quality = win, win! (A pound of the raw honey I bought was just $5)
  • From Sparkpeople “Since the produce is picked at the peak of the season, nutrients, and phytochemicals will be more abundant.”
  • Better variety of produce than a grocery store means a better variety of vitamins and minerals going into your body. It also, keeps cooking fresh and exciting and you can ask the farmer how to prepare whatever you buy!
  • Who doesn’t love fresh air and sunshine (as opposed to fluorescent lighting and concrete)?

It’s good for the environment

  • Reduces travel and packaging
  • Encourages environmental practices, such as organic or pesticide-free

So, you know the moral of this story — GET YOUR BUTT TO THE FARMERS MARKET! (See below to find one near you)

LocalHarvest – Find the closest places to buy sustainably grown food near you!

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6 Responses to "Trip to the Farmers Market!"

I have never seen a purple pepper before! They look so beautiful and vibrant. Do they taste the same??

They’re even prettier in person! They taste the same as bell peppers except a teensy bit sweeter. If you ever find one of these babies, I suggest you try them! I sauteed them for quesadillas last night and, when heated, they became lighter, almost lavender, in color.

There is a farmer’s market that takes place every Wednesday until October, also less than a mile from me. You’ve motivated me to go once I need some produce! Next Wednesday, it’s on!

Yesssss. I think I’m addicted after my first time. I’m going to try to go every Saturday! Take pictures of your farmer finds and alert me pleaseee!

[…] up at Trader Joe’s and Whole Food’s. After reading a post at Alixandra’s site, Healthy Balance, Healthy Life, I decided that I needed to just do it already. Like Alixandra, I only live like a mile from a […]

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I am a 22 year old social work graduate student living in beautiful Burlington, Vermont. I love do-it-yourself projects, being active, and cooking delicious, healthy food! Feel free to leave comments or email me at AlixandraWest@gmail.com. You can also anonymously ask me questions at http://www.formspring.me/HealthyBalance1 I would love to hear from you!

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