Just about everybody knows by now that Richlands farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. They're also great places to interact socially, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.
Richlands farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also happen in your own home town, so you aren't required to journey far to find them. They've 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 Richlands, VA
The advantages of shopping at your local Richlands farmers market are many. First, you know the produce and other items are as fresh as they can be, since they come straight from the farm to the market. Many crops available for sale at these markets are organically grown, so you know your family and friends won't be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Richlands farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can 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 into the air.
Often, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer does not need 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 money for a far better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets benefit Richlands farmers, as well, because they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, and in addition they don't have to ship their products days or weeks in advance at wholesale prices, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to buy from local Richlands farms, considering that the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profits - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Richlands Farmers Market
Farmers markets usually 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. Richlands 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'll find a schedule from your local Cooperative Extension or county agricultural board, too. They have 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 Richlands Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Richlands farms offering 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 might 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 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 Richlands farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.