Just about everybody knows these days that Rockaway 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 you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.
Rockaway farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they occur in your home town, so you aren't required to journey far to locate them. They've been going on for years in some locations, but they have 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 Rockaway, NJ
The advantages of shopping at your local Rockaway 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 organically grown, so you know your family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Rockaway farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help relieve 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 lesser number of emissions in the air.
Often, rates are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not need to mark up his prices to earn 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 far better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets profit Rockaway 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, so they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to buy from local Rockaway 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 Rockaway Farmers Market
Farmers markets primarily run from late May or early June through September or October, depending on where you live and your climate. Actually it all depends on the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Rockaway 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'll find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They've 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 Rockaway Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Rockaway farms promoting their wares 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. Most booths will give 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 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 Rockaway farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.