Just about everyone understands by now that Fairbanks farmers markets are among the best places to find great local produce. They're also great places to make friends, taste test new, fresh ingredients before buying, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on many occasions.
Fairbanks farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they happen right in your home town, so you don't need to journey far to discover them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they've become popular in the last few years, so you should be able to find one not far from home!
The Benefits of Farmers Markets in Fairbanks, AK
The advantages of shopping at your local Fairbanks farmers market are many. First, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, as they come directly from the farm to the market. Most crops available for sale at these markets are organically grown, so you know your family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Fairbanks farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help minimize global warming, and usually, farmers do not have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost by using less fuel and contributing a lower number of pollutants in the air.
Generally, rates are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer doesn't have to mark up his prices to earn money from a wholesaler, who marks up the prices again before they get to the supermarket. So, you're actually paying less cash for a far better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets profit Fairbanks farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to attract customers, plus they don't need to ship their products days or even weeks in advance at low cost, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always better to purchase from local Fairbanks farms, because the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profitability - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Fairbanks Farmers Market
Farmers markets in most cases run from late May or early June through September or October, depending on where you live and your climate. Actually it all depends on the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Fairbanks farmers markets are such a big deal now, that typically local newspapers will print a schedule of markets in your area as the season is about to begin.
Often, you will find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They have become quite popular, in fact, that some communities enjoy a number of farmers markets every week, so it pays to shop all of them and choose the ones that provide the produce and other products you like the best.
What to Look for at a Fairbanks Farmers Market
You will be sure to find local Fairbanks farms selling their wares at affordable prices, but there are a few things to look out for. Make sure the produce is ripe and hasn't been sitting out in the sun too long, or has been damaged in transport. Most booths will offer you a free taste of whatever you are looking at, so you can check out new flavors and crops you may not have had a chance to experience before.
Some farmers may also offer you recipes and other ideas on how to serve their products, too. At the really big markets, organizers may bring in free entertainment, arts and crafts booths, and other amusements to draw in the crowds, and they may even provide play areas for the kids, too.
Look for other items at your farmers market, too. Sometimes local meat, cheese, and dairy producers bring their wares, and big markets are more like a county fair, with food booths, information booths, and even games for the whole family. So, check out a local Fairbanks farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.