Off To The Farmer's Market

Praise the Lord that spring is finally here! Yes, I love the colors and smells and sounds of spring, but more importantly, I love the farmer's markets!

We have a great market just down the road from us underneath an attention-grabbing red and white tent. They just opened last week and I've already been there twice! It's so exciting to see fresh fruits and veggies like I haven't seen in months. Isn't spring fabulous!

When you go to a farmer's market, it's completely different than shopping at the grocery store. There's time and opportunity to browse, to talk to the farmer and get the story behind where their food is coming from. It's great to know exactly who is getting your money and know that they'll be back tomorrow with more great buys.

There are times when you'll spend much less on produce at a farmer's market because they may have had a bumper crop of something fantastic. You can negotiate some prices because you're face-to-face with the farmer. They may also reduce prices or group items together to make room for new crops.

But you may also spend a little more on other items. Remember that this isn't a mass-market retailer who can discount on a whim. You're not only paying for the products, you're paying for their time and labor. They'll spend day after day greeting customers and evening after evening harvesting more to sell for tomorrow. That kind of service means you might be charged a little more than the grocery store, but isn't it worth it to support a local farmer?

Not to mention paying for amazing customer service! This market may be the farmer's livelihood, so they'll meet you, greet you and treat you right just to thank you for stopping by. This means you can often get great deals just because you know the supplier and they get familiar with you and your shopping habits.

You're also spending your money on quality. Fresh produce from local growers is less likely to be sprayed with 27 different chemicals before it reaches you. And how many times have you said that homemade (insert food here) is so much better than what you get at the store. At a farmer's market you're much more likely to find homemade jams, jellies, butters and spreads all at your fingertips.

The flowers are more colorful, the veggies look better and the fruits are out-of-this-world sweet! Spring has sprung and I'm so excited about my next trip. So if you're celebrating the same season we are here, head out to the farmer's market closest to you and find some great deals on some great food.

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