Just about everyone understands by now that Hatfield farmers markets are one of the better places to find great local produce. Fortunately they are also great places to make friends, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.
Hatfield farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they take place in your own home town, so you aren't required to travel far to locate them. They have 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 Hatfield, MA
The advantages of shopping at your local Hatfield 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. Most crops available at these markets are naturally grown, so you know your family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Hatfield farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help relieve global warming, and usually, farmers don't need to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost while using less fuel and contributing a lot fewer emissions in the air.
Typically, rates are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer doesn't 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 cash for a far better product, and who does not like that?
These markets profit Hatfield farmers, as well, because they have a weekly (or daily) market to bring in customers, plus they do not have to ship their products days or even weeks beforehand at wholesale prices, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always better to purchase from local Hatfield 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 Hatfield Farmers Market
Farmers markets primarily run from late May or early June through September or October, based on where you live and your climate. Actually it all depends upon the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Hatfield 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 have become quite 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 Hatfield Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Hatfield farms selling their products 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 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 will even supply 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 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 Hatfield farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.