Just about everyone should know these days that South Valley 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 you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
South Valley farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also happen in your own home town, so you aren't required to travel far to discover them. They have 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 South Valley, NM
The benefits of shopping at your local South Valley farmers market are many. First, you are assured the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, because they come straight from the farm to the market. The majority of crops available at these markets are organically grown, so you know your family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, South Valley farmers markets are great for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help alleviate global warming, and usually, farmers don't need to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost from using less fuel and contributing less emissions in the air.
Generally, prices 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 prior to them getting to the supermarket. So, you are actually paying less money for a much better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets profit South Valley farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to attract customers, and in addition they do not have to ship their products days or weeks beforehand at low cost, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always better to buy from local South Valley farms, since the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and earnings - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local South Valley Farmers Market
Farmers markets generally run from late May or early June through September or October, based 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. South Valley 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 quite popular, in fact, that some communities get to enjoy several 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 South Valley Farmers Market
You are sure to find local South Valley farms selling their wares at good 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. Nearly all booths offer 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 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 South Valley farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.