Just about everybody knows by now that Des Moines farmers markets are one of the best places to find great local produce. They're also great places to make friends, taste test new, fresh ingredients before you purchase, and even watch cooking demonstrations and entertainment on most occasions.
Des Moines farmers markets highlight the products from local farms and other agri-businesses, and they also happen right in your home town, so you aren't required to travel far to discover them. They have been going on for years in some locations, but they have gotten popular in the last few years, so you should be able to find one not far from home!
The Benefits of Farmers Markets in Des Moines, WA
The benefits of shopping at your local Des Moines 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 organically grown, so you know your family and friends won't be eating anything except farm-fresh goodness.
Also, Des Moines farmers markets are good for the environment. Farms contribute oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the air, which will help reduce global warming, and usually, farmers do not have to drive too far to the market, so the environment gets another boost by using less fuel and contributing a lesser number of pollutants into the air.
Often, rates 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 before they get to the supermarket. So, you will be actually paying less cash for a far better product, and who does not like that?
These markets benefit Des Moines farmers, as well, given that they have a weekly (or daily) market to appeal to customers, and they don't have to ship their products days or even weeks in advance at wholesale prices, therefore they make a better profit, too. It's always safer to purchase from local Des Moines farms, since the money stays in the local economy, and that means more jobs and earnings - all from buying fresh local produce!
Finding Your Local Des Moines Farmers Market
Farmers markets generally run from late May or early June through September or October, based on where you live and your climate. Really it all depends on the growing season in your area and when farmers can get their first products to market. Des Moines 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 become quite 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 Des Moines Farmers Market
You're sure to find local Des Moines farms promoting 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 offer a free taste of whatever you are 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 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 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 Des Moines farmer market or two, and come home with everything else you need for a healthy, hearty dinner.