It’s that time of year! Starting from the hot summer days through those cool early fall months, farmers markets are in full swing, selling a bounty of beautiful, fresh, local produce. Visiting a farmers market is a lovely weekend outing, but there are many other reasons to bypass the supermarket for your weekly fresh fruits and vegetables.
While grocery stores offer convenience, the absence of ‘seasons’ (e.g. strawberries and tomatoes are available in the heart of winter and imported bananas sit on shelves year round) and rock bottom prices, why would anyone shop at a farmers market? Here are a few reasons.
1. Enjoy Better Tasting Food. First and foremost, the produce is un-beatably fresh. Forget buying veggies that sat in a refrigerated truck for three days to make their way across the country, or bringing home fruit that traveled across an ocean to reach your kitchen. Typically, produce at the farmers market was harvested at the last possible moment, at peak ripeness. The flavors, textures and colors are noticeably better compared with most supermarket produce.
2. Get More Nutrition for Your Money. Generally speaking, produce that is fresh and local is nutritionally superior to the fruits and veggies in many grocery stores. Many factors affect the nutrient quality of these foods, such as when the crop was harvested, how it was grown, how it was handled and processed, and how long it’s been sitting on the supermarket shelf. All of these factors can decrease nutrient quality. Farm-fresh food goes through fewer nutrient-diminishing steps and gets from the earth to your table sooner. This means it is probably richer in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (thanks to less transport, processing and storage time).
3. Support local business. When you shop at the farmers market, you’re keeping money in your own community, which helps create (and preserve) jobs and makes your hometown more economically stable. Your money goes directly to the farmer-not a middleman-so he can earn a better living. When buying at a grocery store, produce comes from commercial growers all over the country (and overseas). These growers earn about 25 cents of each dollar you spend. Put more of your money into your local farmers’ pockets (and in turn, into your local economy) by purchasing fruits and veggies from the market, where farmers keep 95% of what you spend after paying “rent” for their market booth.
4. Explore artisan, homemade and handmade products. You might not know that farmers markets usually sell a variety of items in addition to produce. At large and small markets alike, you just may find vendors who sell fresh-cut flowers, seedlings and plants, herbs, handmade soaps, jams and jellies, honey, eggs, meat, cheese and milk, baked goods (muffins, cookies, bread and more), canned salsa and tomato sauces, and much more! Farmers markets sometimes offer unusual or less common varieties of fruits and vegetables, too. It’s fun to experiment with produce you’ve never tasted.
When you’re used to supermarket steals, you might be surprised at the cost of food at a farmers market. Some items are priced comparably-or lower-than supermarket foods. In some cases, local produce is cheaper because it skipped all the shipping costs and the mark-up added by grocery stores. But that’s not always the case. Supermarkets deal in big volumes and with big commercial farms, which means they can depend on high volume to keep costs low. Your local farmers likely operate on a much smaller scale, running independent small businesses. While some items might cost more than at the store, many shoppers agree that what they’re paying for is worth the added cost.
Most farmers will price their fares competitively with the other vendors. You’ll likely see similar prices on tomatoes from every farmer, but organic produce might cost more, as will special varieties of foods. When you arrive, scope out the prices and variety at each stand before you buy to ensure that you get the best deal for your money. If several items, such as beans, tomatoes or apples are grouped together at one price, don’t be afraid to ask for a smaller amount than is bundled together; most farmers will be happy to accommodate you.
Finally, take your time! Enjoy your experience at the farmers market. Walk slowly, take in the sights and the people, enjoy the free samples, and look carefully and with gratitude at the beautiful foods produced by the farmers in your community.
Buy-in: 4 rounds of – 1 deadlift, 1 hang power clean, 1 front squat. Add weight each round.
WOD: “Top Gun”
This WOD has 2 parts:
- Build up to a 1RM in the clean over 6 attempts
- 5 rounds of (30s max wallballs, 30s rest, 30s max burpees, 30s rest). This means that each person will have 5 wallball scores and 5 burpee scores at the end of the WOD.
- Add up your best single rep in the clean to the total of all your wallballs and burpees
Cash-out: Slow smooth funky movement – each class member contributes
Zone Gymnastics class at 7:30 -8:45pm:
Skills: Cart-wheels, Shoulder stands, Front & Back Levers
WOD: (20)V-Snaps, Push up pyramid, L-Sits up to 1:30
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