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Five perks of shopping at a farmers market

Published on August 09, 2016

Five perks of shopping at a farmers market

Alyssa Monson, Registered Dietitian
CentraCare Weight Management

Buy local produce at farmers marketsFarmers markets can be a great place to score fresh, tasty produce for your family.

Benefits of purchasing products from farmers markets:

  1. Fresh = longer lasting. The produce is often picked the same day or less than a day before you purchase it. Less time off the plant equals more time for you to use it up.
  2. Taste. Many feel that there is more flavor in the locally grown foods. Most will be picked at the perfect ripeness, not a few days before they are ripe to allow for travel time (like most produce you would get from a supermarket).
  3. More than vegetables. Not a vegetable fan? That’s OK. In addition to vegetables, you’ll often find fruit, flowers, preserves, herbs and farm grown pork and beef products.
  4. Support local growers. By shopping your local farmers market, you are putting money back into the local economy. As a bonus, you are also helping your local growers continue to provide fresh foods to the community.
  5. Learning experience. The vendors at farmers markets really love what they do and have a wealth of knowledge about the products they grow. They almost always are excited to share more information about their products or recipes to use them in. They can explain the difference between the different species of a product such as which tomatoes are best for canning and which are better eaten fresh.
Local farmers markets through October
Market Monday Seventh Street North, Sartell 3-6 p.m. Mondays
Cold Spring Farmers Market Downtown Cold Spring (follow the signs) 3-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays
Big Lake Farmers Market Lake Side Park 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays (through Sept. 28)
CentraCare Health – Paynesville 200 West First Street, Paynesville 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. second and fourth Thursdays
CentraCare Health Plaza 1900 CentraCare Circle, St. Cloud 3-6 p.m. Thursdays
Monticello Farmers Market Monticello Public Library parking lot 3:30-7 p.m. Thursdays
CentraCare Health – Long Prairie 20 Ninth Street Southwest, Long Prairie 2-6:30 p.m. Fridays
St. Joseph Farmers Market Resurrection Lutheran Church parking lot, 610 County Road 2, St. Joseph 3-6:30 p.m. Fridays
St. Cloud Area Farmers Market Lady Slipper Parking Lot, downtown St. Cloud 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays
Paynesville Farmers Market At the corner of James Street and Augusta Avenue, downtown Paynesville 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays

Look for more farmers markets near you.

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