Find a Local Farmers Market in ME
Just about everybody knows by now that Maine farmers markets are one of the better places to find great local produce. They're also great places to make friends, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Maine 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 discover them. They've 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 Maine
The advantages of shopping at your local Maine farmers market are many. First, you are assured the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, since they come directly from the farm to the market. Most crops available at these markets are organically grown, so you know your family and friends won't be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Maine farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will 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 lesser number of pollutants into the air.
Typically, rates are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not have to mark up his prices to make money from a wholesaler, who marks up the prices again prior to them getting to the supermarket. So, you are actually paying less cash for a far better product, and who does not like that?
These markets profit Maine farmers, as well, because they have a weekly (or daily) market to attract customers, and in addition they don't have to ship their products days or weeks in advance at low cost, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always better to purchase from local ME 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 Maine Farmers Market
Farmers markets generally 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. Maine 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 have become quite popular, in fact, that some communities 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 Maine Farmers Market
You're sure to find local Maine 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. Many booths will give 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 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 Maine farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.