Just about everyone should know nowadays that Valentine farmers markets are among the best places to find great local produce. Also they are great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before buying, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Valentine farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they take place right in your home town, so you aren't required to journey far to find them. They have 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 Valentine, NE
The benefits of shopping at your local Valentine 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 for sale at these markets are naturally grown, so you know your family and friends won't be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Valentine farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help minimize global warming, and usually, farmers do not have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost from using less fuel and contributing less pollutants into 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 will be actually paying less cash for a far better product, and who does not like that?
These markets profit Valentine farmers, as well, given that they have a weekly (or daily) market to bring in customers, plus they don't need to ship their products days or weeks in advance at low cost, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to purchase from local Valentine 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 Valentine Farmers Market
Farmers markets usually run from late May or early June through September or October, depending 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. Valentine 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've become very 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 Valentine Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Valentine farms promoting 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'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 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 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 Valentine farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.