Just about everyone understands these days that Springfield farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. Also they are great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on many occasions.
Springfield farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they occur in your own 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've 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 Springfield, MA
The benefits of shopping at your local Springfield farmers market are many. First, 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. Most crops available for sale at these markets are naturally grown, so you know your friends and family will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Springfield farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help alleviate global warming, and usually, farmers don't have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost by using less fuel and contributing fewer pollutants in the air.
Typically, prices 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 before they get to the supermarket. So, you are actually paying less of your budget for a much better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets profit Springfield farmers, as well, given that they have a weekly (or daily) market to attract customers, plus they don't have to ship their products days or weeks in advance at low cost, so they make a better profit, too. It's always better to buy from local Springfield farms, considering that the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profitability - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Springfield Farmers Market
Farmers markets generally run from late May or early June through September or October, based on where you live and your climate. Really it all depends on the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Springfield 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 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 Springfield Farmers Market
You will be sure to find local Springfield farms offering 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. Nearly all booths offer 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 may even 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 Springfield farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.