Just about everyone should know nowadays that Wood River farmers markets are one of the better places to find great local produce. Also they are great places to socialize, taste test new, fresh ingredients before buying, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Wood River farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also take place in your home town, so you don't have to travel far to discover them. They've 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 Wood River, NE
The benefits of shopping at your local Wood River farmers market are many. First, you are assured the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, as 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 won't be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Wood River farmers markets are great for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help reduce 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.
Often, 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 prior to them getting to the supermarket. So, you're actually paying less money for a much better product, and who does not like that?
These markets benefit Wood River farmers, as well, because they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, plus they don't need to ship their products days or even weeks in advance at wholesale prices, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to buy from local Wood River farms, because the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profitability - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Wood River Farmers Market
Farmers markets in most cases 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. Wood River 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 Wood River Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Wood River 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 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 Wood River farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.