Just about everyone understands these days that Carbondale farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. They're also great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before buying, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.
Carbondale farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they take place in your own home town, so you don't need to travel far to locate them. They've 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 Carbondale, CO
The advantages of shopping at your local Carbondale farmers market are many. First off, you are assured the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, because they come straight from the farm to the market. Most crops for sale at these markets are naturally grown, so you know your family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Carbondale farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help reduce 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 lot fewer pollutants in the air.
Typically, 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 prior to them getting to the supermarket. So, you will be actually paying less of your budget for a far better product, and who does not like that?
These markets benefit Carbondale farmers, as well, given that they have a weekly (or daily) market to attract customers, plus they don't have to ship their products days or even weeks in advance at low cost, so they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to buy from local Carbondale farms, considering that the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profits - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Carbondale Farmers Market
Farmers markets generally run from late May or early June through September or October, based on where you live and your climate. Actually it all is dependent upon the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Carbondale 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 can find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They have become so popular, in fact, that some communities get to enjoy several 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 Carbondale Farmers Market
You will be sure to find local Carbondale farms selling their products at sensible 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 will offer you a free taste of whatever you're looking at, so you can check out new flavors and crops you might not have had a chance to experience before.
Some farmers may also 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 bring 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 Carbondale farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.