Just about everyone should know these days that Miami Beach farmers markets are one of the better places to find great local produce. Fortunately they are also great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on many occasions.
Miami Beach farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they happen in your home town, so you don't have to journey far to find them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they've 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 Miami Beach, FL
The advantages of shopping at your local Miami Beach farmers market are many. First off, you are assured the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, since they come straight from the farm to the market. Many crops for sale at these markets are naturally grown, so you know your friends and family will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Miami Beach 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 from using less fuel and contributing a lower number of emissions in the air.
Generally, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer doesn't have to mark up his prices to generate income from a wholesaler, who marks up the prices again prior to them getting to the supermarket. So, you are actually paying less money for a much better product, and who does not like that?
These markets benefit Miami Beach farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to 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 better to purchase from local Miami Beach 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 Miami Beach Farmers Market
Farmers markets primarily run from late May or early June through September or October, according to where you live and your climate. Actually it all depends upon the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Miami Beach 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 Miami Beach Farmers Market
You're sure to find local Miami Beach farms offering their products 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. Many 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 will even supply 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 Miami Beach farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.