Just about everybody knows these days that Mount Rainier farmers markets are among 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 in many cases.
Mount Rainier farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they happen in your home town, so you don't need to travel far to discover them. They've been going on for years in some locations, but they have 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 Mount Rainier, MD
The advantages of shopping at your local Mount Rainier 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 available for sale at these markets are organically grown, so you know your friends and family will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Mount Rainier farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help reduce 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 lot fewer emissions into the air.
Typically, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not need 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 far better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets benefit Mount Rainier farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to attract customers, and they don't need to ship their products days or weeks in advance at wholesale prices, so they make a better profit, too. It's always better to buy from local Mount Rainier 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 Mount Rainier Farmers Market
Farmers markets primarily run from late May or early June through September or October, according to 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. Mount Rainier 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 will find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They've already become very 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 Mount Rainier Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Mount Rainier farms selling their wares 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. Nearly all booths will give you a free taste of whatever you're 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 provide you with 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 Mount Rainier farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.