Just about everyone should know by now that Bellevue farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. Also they are great places to make friends, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you buy, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment in many cases.
Bellevue farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they occur right in your own home town, so you don't have to travel far to discover them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they've become 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 Bellevue, WA
The advantages of shopping at your local Bellevue farmers market are many. First, 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 for sale at these markets are naturally grown, so you know your family and friends will not be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Bellevue farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which can help alleviate 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 fewer emissions into the air.
Often, prices are cheaper at farmers markets, too, because the farmer doesn't have 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 money for a much better product, and who doesn't like that?
These markets profit Bellevue farmers, as well, since they have a weekly (or daily) market to bring in customers, and in addition they don't need to ship their products days or even weeks beforehand at low cost, so they make a better profit, too. It's always better to buy from local Bellevue farms, since the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and profits - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Bellevue Farmers Market
Farmers markets generally run from late May or early June through September or October, depending on where you live and your climate. Actually it all depends on the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Bellevue farmers markets are such a big deal now, that typically 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 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 Bellevue Farmers Market
You are sure to find local Bellevue farms offering their products at affordable 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. Most 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 may also offer you 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 Bellevue farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.