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Five perks of shopping at a farmers market

Published in Weight Management, For the Health of It Author: Alyssa Monson, Registered Dietitian

Farmers 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 MondaySeventh Street North, Sartell3-6 p.m. Mondays
Cold Spring Farmers MarketDowntown Cold Spring (follow the signs)3-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays
Big Lake Farmers MarketLake Side Park3-7 p.m. Wednesdays (through Sept. 28)
CentraCare Health – Paynesville200 West First Street, Paynesville11 a.m. to 1 p.m. second and fourth Thursdays
CentraCare Health Plaza1900 CentraCare Circle, St. Cloud3-6 p.m. Thursdays
Monticello Farmers MarketMonticello Public Library parking lot3:30-7 p.m. Thursdays
CentraCare Health – Long Prairie20 Ninth Street Southwest, Long Prairie2-6:30 p.m. Fridays
St. Joseph Farmers MarketResurrection Lutheran Church parking lot, 610 County Road 2, St. Joseph3-6:30 p.m. Fridays
St. Cloud Area Farmers MarketLady Slipper Parking Lot, downtown St. Cloud8 a.m. to noon Saturdays
Paynesville Farmers MarketAt the corner of James Street and Augusta Avenue, downtown Paynesville8 a.m. to noon Saturdays

Look for more farmers markets near you.