Just about everyone understands nowadays that North Amherst farmers markets are among the best places to find great local produce. Fortunately they are also great places to socialize, taste test new, fresh ingredients before buying, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.
North Amherst farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they take place in your own home town, so you don't have to journey far to locate them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they have become 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 North Amherst, MA
The advantages of shopping at your local North Amherst farmers market are many. First off, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, as they come straight from the farm to the market. The majority of crops available at these markets are organically grown, so you know your friends and family will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, North Amherst farmers markets are great for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help alleviate 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 less emissions in the air.
Generally, prices 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 are actually paying less cash for a much better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets benefit North Amherst farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to attract customers, plus 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 safer to buy from local North Amherst 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 North Amherst Farmers Market
Farmers markets usually run from late May or early June through September or October, based 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. North Amherst 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 can 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 several 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 North Amherst Farmers Market
You're sure to find local North Amherst 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. Many booths will offer you 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 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 North Amherst farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.