FRANKFORT, Ky. — Summer is in full swing and Kentucky Proud Farmers’ Markets all across the Commonwealth are as well. It’s unequivocally the best time of year to find the freshest ingredients and Farmers’ Markets are the place to purchase locally grown and raised produce, eggs, meat, and more, direct from the farm to you. But there are so many more reasons to shop at your local Farmers’ Market than simply a great place to buy fresh farm products.
If you know a farmer, you know the hours are long and the profit margins are often slim. Farmers choose to farm because they care about the land and understand that they serve a vital role in their communities. It can be a thankless profession, but we literally couldn’t live without them. Farmers’ Markets are a direct-to-consumer business model, removing the retail middle-man, thereby increasing profits to the farm. By providing these cost-effective retail sales opportunities for local producers, Farmers’ Markets help make local farming viable.
Improved viability for local farms also benefits your local community. In fact, according to a 2017 Forbes magazine article, for every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $68 remains in the local community. Supporting local businesses also creates jobs where you live. And shopping at your local Farmers’ Market means your food travels fewer miles from the farm to your plate. That not only allows you to pick your food at the very peak of freshness but also conserves energy and resources in the form of decreased transportation costs and reduced packaging.
Believe it or not, purchasing the freshest foods from your local Farmers’ Market can actually be more nutritious for you and your family. We all know that eating your fruits and veggies is part of a healthy diet that can help manage weight and blood sugar. But what may surprise you is that eating locally grown fresh produce maximizes the amount of available nutrients. Fruits and vegetables often lose nutritional value over time as the water content in produce begins to absorb the valuable nutrients, so there’s added health benefits in consuming the freshest picked foods. Not to mention that fresh just tastes better.
Fruits and vegetables are awesome but we all need to splurge a bit on occasion. So, whether your guilty pleasure is a buttered slice of freshly baked bread, a glass of wine, a juicy grilled ribeye, or a big ole’ bag of kettle corn, you can find all sorts of delectable foods at your local Farmers’ Market. The diversity of many markets is nothing to sneeze at, even if some of the locally-grown flower bouquets cause you a bit of a sniffle. Check your local Farmers’ Market website or Facebook page for a full list of vendors and products.
Don’t miss out this summer; plan a visit to your local Market where you’ll find the freshest ingredients and so much more. Fresh food. Fresh thinking. Find both at a Kentucky Proud Farmers’ Market near you.
For a full list of Kentucky Proud Farmers’ Markets, visit: http://www.kyproud.com/farmers-markets/
— Kentucky Department of Agriculture
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