Just about everyone understands nowadays that Clearwater farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. Also they are great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Clearwater farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they take place right in your own home town, so you don't have to journey far to discover them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they have gotten popular in the last few years, so you should be able to find one not far from home!
The Benefits of Farmers Markets in Clearwater, FL
The advantages of shopping at your local Clearwater farmers market are many. First, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, because they come directly from the farm to the market. The majority of crops for sale at these markets are organically grown, so you know your friends and family will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Clearwater farmers markets are great for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help alleviate global warming, and usually, farmers don't need to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost from using less fuel and contributing a lower number of pollutants into the air.
Typically, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not need to mark up his prices to make 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 does not like that?
These markets profit Clearwater farmers, as well, because they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, plus they don't need to ship their products days or weeks in advance at low cost, so they make a better profit, too. It's always better to buy from local Clearwater farms, because the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and earnings - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Clearwater Farmers Market
Farmers markets usually run from late May or early June through September or October, depending on where you live and your climate. Really it all depends on the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Clearwater 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 very 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 Clearwater Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Clearwater farms promoting their wares at good 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 give 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 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 Clearwater farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.