South Dakota Farmers Market Guide

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Find a Local Farmers Market in SD

Just about everybody knows by now that South Dakota farmers markets are one of the better places to find great local produce. They're also great places to make friends, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.

South Dakota farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they take place right in your own home town, so you don't need to travel far to find them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they've 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 South Dakota

The advantages of shopping at your local South Dakota farmers market are many. First, you are assured the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, since they come directly from the farm to the market. The majority of crops available for sale at these markets are organically grown, so you know your friends and family will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.

Also, South Dakota farmers markets are great for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help minimize 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 a lot fewer pollutants into the air.

Typically, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not need to mark up his prices to generate income from a wholesaler, who marks up the prices again prior to them getting to the supermarket. So, you will be actually paying less cash for a much better product, and who does not like that?

These markets profit South Dakota farmers, as well, because they have a weekly (or daily) market to bring in customers, plus they do not have to ship their products days or even weeks beforehand at low cost, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always better to buy from local SD farms, considering that the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profitability - all from buying fresh local produce!

Finding Your Local South Dakota Farmers Market

Farmers markets generally run from late May or early June through September or October, according to 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. South Dakota 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 can find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They've already become so 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 Dakota Farmers Market

You will be sure to find local South Dakota 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 will give you a free taste of whatever you're 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 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 South Dakota farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.