Just about everyone should know by now that Palmer farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. Also they are great places to make friends, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Palmer farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they occur right in your own home town, so you aren't required to travel far to discover them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they've gotten more popular in the last few years, so you should be able to find one not far from home!
The Benefits of Farmers Markets in Palmer, AK
The benefits of shopping at your local Palmer farmers market are many. First, you are assured the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, as they come straight from the farm to the market. The majority of crops available at these markets are naturally grown, so you know your family and friends won't be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Palmer farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help minimize global warming, and usually, farmers don't need to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost while using less fuel and contributing a lot fewer pollutants into the air.
Often, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not need 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 are actually paying less money for a far better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets benefit Palmer farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, and in addition they don't need to ship their products days or even weeks beforehand at wholesale prices, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always better to purchase from local Palmer farms, considering that the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profitability - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Palmer Farmers Market
Farmers markets in most cases run from late May or early June through September or October, based 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. Palmer farmers markets are such a big deal now, that usually local newspapers will print a schedule of markets in your area as the season is about to begin.
Often, you'll find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They've already become very popular, in fact, that some communities get to 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 Palmer Farmers Market
You're sure to find local Palmer farms offering 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. Nearly all booths offer a free taste of whatever you're looking at, so you can check out new flavors and crops you may not have had a chance to experience before.
Some farmers may even provide you with 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 Palmer farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.