Just about everybody knows by now that Valdosta farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. They're also great places to make friends, taste test new, fresh ingredients before buying, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Valdosta farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they occur in your home town, so you don't have to travel far to find them. They've 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 Valdosta, GA
The benefits of shopping at your local Valdosta farmers market are many. First off, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, since they come directly from the farm to the market. Most crops for sale at these markets are organically grown, so you know your friends and family won't be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Valdosta farmers markets are great 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 by using less fuel and contributing a lesser number of pollutants in the air.
Often, 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 prior to them getting to the supermarket. So, you're actually paying less money for a far better product, and who does not like that?
These markets benefit Valdosta farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, and they don't need to ship their products days or even weeks in advance at wholesale prices, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to buy from local Valdosta 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 Valdosta Farmers Market
Farmers markets primarily run from late May or early June through September or October, depending on where you live and your climate. Really it all is dependent upon the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Valdosta farmers markets are such a big deal now, that typically 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'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 Valdosta Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Valdosta 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. Most 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 even offer you 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 Valdosta farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.