As the warmer weather approaches, the farmers markets begin to open. Shopping at local farmers markets have many benefits:
1. Farm fresh: Produce found in the grocery stores are typically several days old before they reach the store. Produce is often shipped from thousands of miles away, where it must be refrigerated and requires additives to keep it looking fresh. Produce from farmer’s markets are usually handpicked that morning, so it is as fresh as possible. It also ensures that you know what is in your food. Most of the farmers work at their own stands, which gives consumers the chance to talk to them about how they grow and handle their produce.
2. Seasonal: Produce from farmer’s markets are fresh and grown in season; whereas, produce found in the grocery stores are not.
3. Ripe: Produce found at farmer’s markets are picked at the peak of ripeness, which not only tastes better but also provides the best nutrition possible.
4. Affordable: Produce purchased from farmer’s markets are typically cheaper than the produce purchased from grocery stores.
5. Supports local economies: Produce from farmer’s markets are grown within 100 miles of the market. This means the money spent at farmer’s markets helps support local farms thus benefiting the community. Local farms have decreased over the years because of the cost of running a farm and competing with corporate grocery chains. Purchasing from these local farms supports them, giving them the opportunity to provide to consumers as an alternative to mass-produced foods.
6. Better for the environment: Local farms conserve fossil fuels, provides less waste in the form of carbon monoxide, pesticide use and chemical fertilizers.
7. Social: Farmer’s markets are a great place to gather and meet other people in the community.
Check out http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/chart.htm to find what is in season, and then head to your local farmers market to pick it up for dinner.
Local farmer’s market currently open in this area:
Wrightsville Beach Farmer’s Market https://www.townofwrightsvillebeach.com/183/Farmers-Market
• Municipal Ln
• 8 AM-1PM every Monday
Carolina Beach Farmer’s Market http://www.carolinabeachfarmersmarket.com
• S Lake Park Blvd at Atlanta Ave
• 8 AM-1PM every Saturday
Riverfront Farmer’s Market
• Water Street in front of court house
• 8 AM-1PM every Saturday until November 17th
Port City Produce https://www.portcityproduce.com/
• 5740 Market St or 6458 Carolina Beach Rd
• 9 AM-7 PM Monday-Friday, 8 AM-7 PM Saturday, 10 AM-6 PM
Poplar Grove Farmer’s Market http://poplargrove.org/farmers-market/
• 10200 US-17
• 8 AM-1 PM every Wednesday