Find a Local Farmers Market in NM
Just about everyone understands by now that New Mexico farmers markets are among the best places to find great local produce. They're also great places to socialize, taste test new, fresh ingredients before buying, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
New Mexico farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also happen in your home town, so you don't have to journey far to locate them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they have 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 New Mexico
The advantages of shopping at your local New Mexico 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. The majority of crops for sale at these markets are naturally grown, so you know your family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, New Mexico farmers markets are great for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help reduce 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 less pollutants into the air.
Typically, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer doesn't 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 are actually paying less of your budget for a much better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets benefit New Mexico farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to bring in customers, and they do not 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 NM 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 Mexico Farmers Market
Farmers markets in most cases run from late May or early June through September or October, depending on where you live and your climate. Really it all depends upon the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. New Mexico 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 have become so 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 Mexico Farmers Market
You're sure to find local New Mexico 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 offer 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 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 draw 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 Mexico farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.