Just about everyone understands by now that Manassas Park farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. Also they are great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before buying, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.
Manassas Park farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, plus they take place right in your 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 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 Manassas Park, VA
The benefits of shopping at your local Manassas Park farmers market are many. First off, 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 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, Manassas Park farmers markets are great for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help reduce global warming, and usually, farmers don't have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost from using less fuel and contributing a lower number of emissions in the air.
Often, 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 before they get to the supermarket. So, you will be actually paying less cash for a far better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets benefit Manassas Park farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to attract customers, plus they don't need to ship their products days or weeks in advance at low cost, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always better to buy from local Manassas Park 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 Manassas Park Farmers Market
Farmers markets usually 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. Manassas Park 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 Manassas Park Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Manassas Park farms promoting 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. Many booths will offer you a free taste of whatever you are 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 draw 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 Manassas Park farmer market or two, and come home with everything you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.