Farmers’ Market. Just the phrase itself conjures up happy thoughts of warm weather, fresh produce, meeting friends, and great meals made with your purchases.
Farmers’ Markets are extremely popular, and Jefferson County is no exception. Most of our communities host weekly Farmers’ Markets during the warm-weather months, and a few host Winter Markets as well.
Farmers’ markets provide the consumer with a wide variety of organic and fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, nuts and other produce directly from the local farmers’ back yards. Consumers are embracing an eating healthier lifestyle – the Locavore lifestyle – and nowhere are the selections better than shopping a farmers’ market.
The majority of the farmers that vend at Jefferson County farmers’ markets travel less than 30 miles to their market. This means that the produce found at Jefferson County Farmers’ Markets is much fresher – picked that morning, most likely – than the actual 7-14 days that can go by between the time other produce is picked and when it becomes available at a grocery store. Grocery store produce might travel a thousand miles or more before reaching the consumer. Studies have shown that produce loses nutritional value the longer it is between harvest and consumption.
Farmers’ market vendors are local entrepreneurs, and they set prices that allow them to reasonably cover their costs. Prices vary by product, but typically, farmers’ market produce is equal to or less than the cost of buying produce at the grocery store – and again, has greater nutritional value.
Still not convinced? Here are the top ten reasons to include regular shopping at a Jefferson County Farmers’ Market:
Support your local farmers. It’s great to support the men and women who work hard on their farms to produce their product – and you get to meet them every week, and get to know them too!
Eat seasonal produce andeat local.
You will find that your produce has greater taste and is so fresh! No sitting on trucks for delivery across the country – the produce you find at a Jefferson County farmers’ market may have been fresh-picked just this morning!
Many farmers use little or no pesticides – just ask the vendor to be sure.
You will find much more than fresh fruit and produce at a Jefferson County farmers’ market – you will most likely find honey, jams, baked goods, crafts, food, gifts and more.
Farmers’ markets stimulate the local economy.
Boost your nutrition! You might just find that you eat more fresh fruit and vegetables as you soak in the sights and colors and selections of a Jefferson County farmers’ market.
Discover new cooking ideas. Ask the vendors if they recommend recipes for using their seasonal produce. You may just find your new favorite recipe!
Learn a new veggie. Many vendors will have vegetables that you’ve never seen before, or maybe you’ve never incorporated into your meal plan before. Ask them about the veggie – and try it out at home!
Be entertained!Jefferson County farmers’ markets often have musical entertainment, jugglers, balloon artists and more. They are a great venue to be part of the community – eat your meal there, bring the family there, spend the day there.
Along with weekly Farmers’ Markets, there are many farms in Jefferson County who set up stands in our beautiful communities, and some that encourage shoppers to come right to the farm where the food is grown.
Looking for a great place to buy fresh produce? Consider all of the options in these Jefferson County communities – Farmers’ Markets, farmstands and farm stores:
Katie was the Executive Director of the Lake Mills Main Street Program from 2011 to 2019 and was the Secretary for the Jefferson County Tourism Council. In 2019, she retired to explore a new fashion degree and travel throughout the world. Katie was also a writer and contributed a great deal of copy for our website and printed guide. She was a great asset to our organization and we'll miss her!