Just about everyone should know by now that Dayton farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. Fortunately they are also great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Dayton farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they happen in your home town, so you don't have to travel far to discover 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 Dayton, OR
The advantages of shopping at your local Dayton farmers market are many. First off, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, as they come straight from the farm to the market. Many crops available for sale at these markets are organically grown, so you know your friends and family won't be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Dayton farmers markets are great 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 by using less fuel and contributing a lower number of emissions in the air.
Typically, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not 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 profit Dayton farmers, as well, because they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, plus 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 safer to buy from local Dayton farms, considering that the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and earnings - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Dayton Farmers Market
Farmers markets primarily run from late May or early June through September or October, according to 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. Dayton 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 Dayton Farmers Market
You're sure to find local Dayton farms offering 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 will offer you 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 also 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 Dayton farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.