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Massachusetts Farmers Market Week

Greenfield Farmers Market

I’m so happy to participate in the Loving Local Farmers Market Blogathon hosted by In Our Grandmother’s Kitchens for several reasons. First, Farmers Markets are beautiful and celebratory places to be. Everywhere are gorgous healthy fruits and vegetables, fragrant herbs and brilliant flowers. Everyone is cheerful when they are surrounded by this beautiful bounty. Who wouldn’t like to spend an hour at the Farmers Market?

Second, is the energy savings of locally grown produce. I know all about the current re-calculating of energy costs of California produce versus more local produce that required heated greenhouses but the farmers I know are using solar greenhouses and limited or no other energy for heating.

Tom Clark of Clarkdale Fruit Farm

Third, is the crisp freshness of the produce. It has been picked  ripe and at its peak. That’s for me! And the nutritional value hasn’t had time to evaporate away.

Fourth, is the variety of veggies, fruits, herbs and unique varieties that promise great flavor and texture. I am a gardener and I grow a lot of my own veggies and herbs, but for a family of two I can’t grow all the variety that I hunger for.

Fifth is my concern for my own food supply. I firmly believe that less centralized, more diversified food sources are safer from violent weather and insect damage or blights and disease. This means the food system for the whole nation is more secure.

Sixth, I think smaller food producers are less likely to spread diseases like salmonella.  It seems that all the  outbreaks of infected foods that have necessitated recalls are from large farms, feedlots and processing plants.

Seventh is my desire to support the farmers who will grow this safe, healthy and delicious food. I love farmers! Some of them are cute and are willing to flirt at the farmers market. I wonder if I can count flirting as another reason for supporting farmers and farmers markets.  What do you think?

Eighth is my concern for the local economy. Buying food, or anything locally, will keep my dollars circulating in my community, so shopping at the farmers market is supporting the whole local economy.

Nine. I can meet various friends and acquaintances at the Farmers Market. I always allow time to stop and gossip.  Here I am blogging and Facebooking, but really, there is  nothing like a face to face confab with people you enjoy, maybe while eating a juicy peach or apple, or a fruit turnover. Have you noticed how many farmers are good cooks?

Ten. Even if you are not a passionate cook farmers markets are a good place to shop because you don’t really need to do anything to make fresh veggies taste wonderful. The flavor is already there. Who needs to do anything fancy to corn on the cob? Or a passel of peas? Or beets?  Steaming, roasting – or just plain raw.

I just came up with a new slogan – Eat Local – Eat Well.   It works for me.

January Winterfare in Northampton

Check out the Mass Farmers Market Association, a non-profit organization and donate to help support farmers markets throughout the Commonwealth.

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