We love the Farmer’s Market for more than just the fresh produce. Here’s 8 Reasons that get me + four kids out to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning!
There isn’t much I dislike more than taking four kids to the grocery store. No matter how many discussions we have ahead of time, or how many rewards or threats I exact, it is almost always complete insanity as soon as we set foot in a grocery store. The two year old doesn’t like to sit in a cart and will scream, the ten year old wants to negotiate for items that didn’t make the shopping list, and my two middle children argue, run, yell, etc. And when I shop with all the kids, inevitably I forget some very important item off the list and have to do it all over again the next day. It really is my least favorite chore.
Summer time, however, is a different story. Once the farmer’s markets open for the season, we can do a different kind of grocery shopping. Maybe it’s the sunshine, or the free face painting, or all the food samples, but an hour at the farmer’s market with four kids is not only manageable, it’s fun too. The kids will groan as loud as I do when I announce a trip to the grocery store, but I don’t even have to ask twice when the farmer’s market is the destination!
8 Reasons To Go To The Farmer’s Market
Our summer wouldn’t be complete without our trips to the Farmer’s Markets in Albuquerque. We do enjoy all the local fruits and vegetables, but there are a lot of reasons beyond the produce to visit the farmer’s market. If you need a little nudge, here are a few things that get us to the farmer’s market.
1. To Talk to the Garden Experts
There are so many benefits to growing a backyard garden, but even after attempting to grow my own food every summer for the last five years, I still find it so challenging. I’ve found, however, that the farmer’s market is the best place to ask all my gardening questions. Where to get the best seeds? Why are my cucumber leaves turning yellow? What kind of mulch to use? Those growers at the market have all the best answers! I have even borrowed gardening books from them before.
2. Cheap or Free Entertainment
While we try to hurry as fast as we can at the grocery store, at the farmer’s market no one ever wants to leave. There’s almost always live music and tables with coloring pages. Sometimes there’s a free rock climbing wall or free face painting, and there’s always plenty to look at. If you’re a two-year-old, jumping off curbs is even mighty entertaining. And while everyone is having fun, I still manage to pick up some fresh produce for the week.
3. To Eat Good Food
We don’t eat breakfast on Farmer’s Market days because we can eat while we shop. Maybe a fresh peach, a breakfast burrito, or everyone’s favorite, a visit to the local bakery’s table at the market for a pastry or a muffin. It’s kind of like the Costco bonus – going in to buy toilet paper in bulk but also getting to feed everyone lunch at the concession stand for only a few dollars – yeah, like that, but better.
4. Free Samples
Again, kind of like those yummy Costco samples, but better. At the farmer’s market you don’t have to guess if the peaches you’re buying are good ones – taste a slice first. Not sure about the difference between clover honey and buckwheat honey? Taste before you buy. And as someone who feels very shortchanged when I buy a whole bag of grapes at the grocery store only to find out they are bitter when we get home, this feels like a really big perk. Plus, you know it’s going to be a good day when you start it off with free grilled corn on the cob.
5. All the Other Vendors
Most of the time, there’s a lot more than just produce, meat, and eggs at the farmer’s market. Last weekend, I saw handmade soaps, fresh flowers, wood furniture, quilts, essential oils, and so much more. If you want to buy local or handmade or even just find unique gifts and art, the farmer’s market is the best place to shop.
6. To Make Friends
Maybe this isn’t always true, but it seems like we meet the nicest people (and their dogs) at the farmer’s market. People aren’t rushing like they do at the grocery store, and no one seems to mind that the kids are loud. If you worry about globalization at all, the local farmer’s market is the best place to give yourself a happy dose of good old fashioned “community” to cheer you up again.
7. To Save Money
Not everything is cheaper at the farmer’s market, but a lot of things are, especially if you want to buy organic. Plus, if you’re factoring in the cost to the environment, buying locally grown produce/meat/eggs is definitely the cheaper option.
8. Because Your Kids Might Eat Their Vegetables
The farmer’s market works some sort of magic on my kids. They are aren’t enthusiastic kale eaters, but after we picked up a bunch of kale from the market last weekend, I brought it home and made this delicious stew. I kid you not, the kids ate every green bite. Something about meeting the people who grow the produce, talking to them, picking out the food . . . I don’t know. It’s just farmer’s market magic.