Just about everybody knows by now that Orono farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. Fortunately they are also great places to socialize, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Orono farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also happen right in your own home town, so you aren't required to travel far to find 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 Orono, ME
The benefits of shopping at your local Orono farmers market are many. First off, you are assured 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 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, Orono 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 don't have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost from using less fuel and contributing fewer emissions into the air.
Often, rates 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 of your budget for a much better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets benefit Orono farmers, as well, since 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 wholesale prices, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always better to purchase from local Orono farms, since the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profitability - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Orono 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 depends upon the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Orono 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'll find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They've become so 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 Orono Farmers Market
You will be sure to find local Orono farms offering their products at affordable 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 offer 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 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 Orono farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.