Just about everybody knows by now that West Lafayette farmers markets are one of the better places to find great local produce. Also they are great places to socialize, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on many occasions.
West Lafayette farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also occur right in your home town, so you aren't required to journey far to locate them. They've been going on for years in some locations, but they've gotten 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 West Lafayette, IN
The benefits of shopping at your local West Lafayette farmers market are many. First off, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, since they come straight from the farm to the market. The majority of crops available at these markets are organically grown, so you know your family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, West Lafayette farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help alleviate 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 pollutants in the air.
Typically, rates 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 before they get to the supermarket. So, you're actually paying less cash for a far better product, and who does not like that?
These markets profit West Lafayette farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, plus they do not have to ship their products days or even weeks in advance at low cost, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to buy from local West Lafayette 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 West Lafayette Farmers Market
Farmers markets in most cases run from late May or early June through September or October, based 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. West Lafayette 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 will find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They've 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 West Lafayette Farmers Market
You're sure to find local West Lafayette farms promoting 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. Most booths offer 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 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 West Lafayette farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.