Find a Local Farmers Market in NH
Just about everybody knows by now that New Hampshire farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. They're also great places to socialize, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.
New Hampshire farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also happen in your home town, so you don't need to travel far to locate them. They've been going on for years in some locations, but they've become popular in the last few years, so you should be able to find one not far from home!
The Benefits of Farmers Markets in New Hampshire
The advantages of shopping at your local New Hampshire farmers market are many. First, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, because 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 family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, New Hampshire 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 less pollutants into the air.
Generally, rates are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not need 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're actually paying less of your budget for a far better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets benefit New Hampshire farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, and 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 better to purchase from local NH farms, since the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profitability - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local New Hampshire Farmers Market
Farmers markets generally 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. New Hampshire 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 have 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 New Hampshire Farmers Market
You're sure to find local New Hampshire farms promoting their wares at affordable 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 are 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 offer you 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 New Hampshire farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.