Just about everyone understands nowadays that Madison farmers markets are among the best places to find great local produce. Also they are great places to socialize, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Madison farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they happen in your home town, so you aren't required to journey far to discover them. They have 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 Madison, IN
The advantages of shopping at your local Madison farmers market are many. First off, you are assured 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 naturally grown, so you know your family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Madison farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help relieve global warming, and usually, farmers don't have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost from using less fuel and contributing a lesser number of emissions in the air.
Typically, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not 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're actually paying less money for a much better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets profit Madison farmers, as well, given that they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, and they don't need to ship their products days or even weeks beforehand at low cost, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always better to buy from local Madison farms, because the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profitability - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Madison 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 is dependent upon the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Madison 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'll 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 Madison Farmers Market
You're sure to find local Madison farms promoting 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. Nearly all booths will give you a free taste of whatever you are looking at, so you can check out new flavors and crops you may not have had a chance to experience before.
Some farmers may also 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 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 Madison farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.