Just about everyone understands by now that Augusta farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. They're also great places to socialize, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Augusta farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also take place in your home town, so you don't have to journey far to find them. They've been going on for years in some locations, but they have become 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 Augusta, GA
The advantages of shopping at your local Augusta farmers market are many. First off, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, because they come directly from the farm to the market. Many crops available at these markets are organically grown, so you know your friends and family will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Augusta farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help relieve 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 lot fewer pollutants in the air.
Generally, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not have to mark up his prices to generate income from a wholesaler, who marks up the prices again before they get to the supermarket. So, you're actually paying less money for a far better product, and who does not like that?
These markets profit Augusta farmers, as well, because they have a weekly (or daily) market to attract customers, and they do not have to ship their products days or weeks in advance at low cost, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to buy from local Augusta farms, considering that the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and earnings - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Augusta Farmers Market
Farmers markets primarily 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. Augusta 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 will 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 Augusta Farmers Market
You will be sure to find local Augusta farms offering their wares 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. Many booths will give you a free taste of whatever you are 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 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 Augusta farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.