Just about everyone understands by now that Afton farmers markets are one of the better places to find great local produce. Fortunately they are also great places to socialize, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Afton farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they take place in your own home town, so you aren't required to journey far to locate them. They have 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 Afton, OK
The advantages of shopping at your local Afton farmers market are many. First, you know 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 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, Afton farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help alleviate global warming, and usually, farmers don't have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost while using less fuel and contributing a lower number of pollutants into the air.
Typically, 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 before they get to the supermarket. So, you're actually paying less of your budget for a much better product, and who does not like that?
These markets profit Afton farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to bring in customers, and they don't have to ship their products days or weeks in advance at wholesale prices, so they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to buy from local Afton farms, since the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profits - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Afton Farmers Market
Farmers markets generally run from late May or early June through September or October, based on where you live and your climate. Really it all is dependent upon the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Afton 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 can find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They've become quite popular, in fact, that some communities 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 Afton Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Afton farms offering their products 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. Many 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 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 Afton farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.