Boasting hundreds of varieties of produce and amazing customer service, farmers’ markets connect people in their communities with locally grown produce. Farmers’ markets are gaining popularity. Since 2008, the number of farmers markets in the US has nearly doubled, from 4,685 to 8,144 in 2013, according to the USDA. It is likely they will grow in number as people discover the wonders of local markets and demand fresh produce.
Market produce is grown on farms that are often less than 90 miles from the market. The fruits and vegetables are often picked the same day or the day before they are sold. They are so fresh you may see the morning dew glistening on the skins. You cannot get produce any fresher or available in such a wide variety than produce sold at the farmers’ markets.
Farmers selling at New York City Greenmarkets together grow 47 varieties of peas and beans, 120 varieties of apples, 170 varieties of tomatoes and 350 varieties of peppers. With fun names like “Green Curly” and “Red Oak”, one farmer at the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan (NYC) sells over 20 varieties of leafy salad greens not commonly found in supermarkets. Chameh, avocado squash, kohlrabi, heirloom tomatoes, shishito peppers, ginger gold apples, and rainbow swiss chard are among the other produce items found at this market.
On the other side of the country, one grower at the farmers’ market in Spokane, Washington sells 26 varieties of potatoes. At San Francisco’s famous Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, as many as 1250 vendors sell over 1,200 varieties of fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
With such a wide variety of produce available, why not make it a family excursion and visit your local farmers’ market? Choose one fruit or vegetable your child or your family has never tasted before. Ask the farmers how it tastes and the best way to prepare it. Once you take a bite of the fresh fruit/vegetable, you and your family will be hooked! These produce are as fresh as it gets!
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