Family Fun at the Farmers Market

by Sabrena on June 16, 2011

I used to be funny. No seriously, when I was chunkier, single and a lot more self deprecating – you might have even said I was “a hoot.” (For proof, I dare you to check out this little ditty). But there’s nothing really humorous about a declining planet. And somehow, when I slip into Save-the-Planet-Mode, I tend to also become a bit serious — albeit altruistic, but serious nonetheless. The good news about eco-decision making with a conscious is that while it may not be that funny, it can always be fun.

Enter this month’s challenge: Behold the FARMERS MARKET!

If you don’t have the “Hallelujah Chorus App” downloaded on your tablet, just pretend that announcement came with the skies opening towards the heavens and cherubim singing. Yes, Farmers Markets are that glorious.

I’m pretty partial to our Salt Lake variety. Imagine walking through isles of home made jams, pure honey, dried lavender and honeydew the size of your head. Yes, melons the size of your melon. Your little people are mesmerized by the various street performers. The eclectic energy of being downtown is infectious, and you can’t stop people watching. All the while the heady and intoxicating scent of fresh baked breads, candied almonds and kettle corn waft through the air.

I mean, if this is saving the planet, sign me up to be a tree hugger, right?

But the thing is, hitting up your local farmers market (or even local produce stand) is a great way to support a more sustainable lifestyle for you and your family. By buying local you help to reduce the total number of miles your food travels – thus reducing vehicle pollution, noise and fossil fuel use.

Likewise, since the produce and goods are not taking shipping trips, the packing materials are minimal to obsolete. Which reminds me, make sure you have your canvas bags en tote for purchases!

Farmers markets also encourage farm diversification and more environmental production practices such as organic and pesticide free. In my experience, most of the farmers chose to grow by organic standards, but opt out of government certification because of the hefty price tag associated with the label. But that means I still get the benefits of organic at a fraction of the price I’d pay at the store.

Local Harvest is a great place to find a farmers market closest to you. You also may be surprised to discover a host of local growers, farms, grass-fed beef ranchers and CSA’s (Community Support Agriculture) in your area beyond your city’s downtown weekend market. And Certified Farmer’s Markets (a Canadian website) has a lot of great information on benefits of farmers markets from producers and consumers (that would be you and I), to the environment, community and local economy.

I love a Saturday morning in the summer for perusing, purchasing and playing at the Farmers Market with my family. Hope you’ll discover the same magic of the season.

See, I told you saving the planet was fun. Now if I could just work on perfecting my punch lines…

**Photographs by David Newkirk. All rights reserved Downtown Alliance

 

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