Seven reasons to shop at Minnesota farmers markets
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Katie Spoden, AmeriCorps VISTA Member — Extension Food Access Project, and Mary Vitcenda, Senior Editor
July 2015; reviewed April 2017 by Laura Perdue, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition.
Looking for reasons to shop at Minnesota farmers markets? We've got seven good ones. Read the guide online, starting below, or download a copy in print form: Seven reasons to shop at Minnesota farmers markets (PDF).
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Farmers markets benefit consumers shopping for fresh produce, as well as the community. Here are seven reasons to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at a farmers market:
1. Freshly picked fruits and vegetables taste better.
When you shop at a farmers market, you know that the produce is fresh and at peak flavor because it was recently picked from a nearby farm or community garden. Unlike some grocery store produce, farmers market produce wasn’t transported from thousands of miles away.
2. You can buy straight from the source.
Farmers are experts about their own products. When you shop at a farmers market, you get information on how your food was grown straight from the source. Growers also can tell you the best ways to prepare different foods and give you their favorite recipes.
3. Farmers markets offer opportunities to try something new and different.
Farmers markets feature a vast selection of different varieties of produce that are often not available at conventional grocery stores.
4. You can get the kids involved.
Farmers markets provide great environments for kids to learn and explore. The less-structured, open-air atmospheres of farmers markets offer more freedom and opportunities for children (and adults) to ask questions and try something new than do grocery stores.
5. Farmers markets are good places to interact with your neighbors.
The Farmers Market Coalition found that people who shop at farmers markets have 15 to 20 social interactions per visit compared with 1 to 2 social interactions at a grocery store. Farmers markets provide spaces to meet and greet. Many markets also feature activities such as kids’ crafts, live music, cooking demos and food sampling.
6. You can use your credit, debit, or EBT card.
Many Minnesota farmers markets now accept all forms of “plastic payment.”What’s more, you are eligible to receive a $10 match in Market Bucks at participating farmers markets if you use your EBT card - every time you visit the market!
7. Farmers markets provide public value.
When you shop at a farmers market, you help stimulate local economies; preserve farm or urban growing land and associated livelihoods; increase access to fresh, nutritious food; and support healthy communities.
Questions or Comments?
Contact the SNAP-Ed Team for more information.
Farmers Market Coalition. (2013). Celebrating the many benefits of farmers markets — Why farmers markets?United States Department of Agriculture. (2015). Top 10 reasons to shop at a farmers market.
Shopping at farmers markets — Get information on what is the best time to shop for farmers market deals, if you can bring your kids or pets, how to ensure the food you buy is safe to eat, and more. English | español
Celebrating the Many Benefits of Farmers Markets — Farmers Market Coalition — The chart on this webpage highlights how shopping at a farmers market benefits the community.Top 10 Reasons to Shop at a Farmers Market — U.S. Department of Agriculture — This webpage cites 10 reasons for both individuals and communities to support farmers markets.