Just about everybody knows by now that Jefferson farmers markets are one of the better places to find great local produce. Fortunately they are also great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before buying, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.
Jefferson farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also happen in your home town, so you aren't required to travel far to locate 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 Jefferson, OR
The advantages of shopping at your local Jefferson farmers market are many. First off, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, because they come directly from the farm to the market. Many crops available at these markets are naturally grown, so you know your friends and family will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Jefferson farmers markets are great for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help alleviate global warming, and usually, farmers do not have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost from using less fuel and contributing a lot fewer pollutants into the air.
Generally, rates are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer doesn't have 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're actually paying less money for a far better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets profit Jefferson farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, and 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 Jefferson 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 Jefferson Farmers Market
Farmers markets generally run from late May or early June through September or October, depending 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. Jefferson 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'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 Jefferson Farmers Market
You will be sure to find local Jefferson farms selling their products 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. Many booths will give 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 will even supply 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 Jefferson farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.