Farmer's Market

I used to take the Farmer’s Market for granted. Every Wednesday, on our way to preschool, my daughter Ava and I would cross the food and flower lined street, stop to sample the pomegranate-apple juice or pick up a flower for the classroom. Now that preschool is a distant memory, I have to make a greater effort to get to the market but the rewards are more than worth it and shopping the Farmer’s Market is a ritual I’ve come to appreciate: I start at the Belizean baker to buy his uniquely cultured breads, dash to the Red Hill Farms stand for their creamy raw goat cheeses, bop over to Maggie’s Farm for fresh picked salad greens then end up at Organic Dairy Pastures for raw milk and butter direct from their humanely treated grass fed cows.

“Organics” has become big business, with smaller farms bought up by the bigger ones: General Mills acquired Cascadian Farms, Coca-cola owns Odwalla Organics, just to name a few. According to Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “organic farming has come to resemble the industrial system it originally set out to replace, with it’s reliance on fossil fuels, high-tech processing plants and less-than-mindful treatment of the animals and the land. Is it really organic if it’s packaged in plastic and transported three thousand miles and five days away?” Research shows that small farms go the extra mile to exceed sustainable farming standards by supplying food from within their own region, which cuts down on fuel, carbon emissions and keeps the foods’ nutritional value intact. Support your local farmer’s markets.

Here’s what we can do:

  1. Find a farmer’s market near you, click on farmer.net
  2. Support companies that employ sustainable farming, business and fair trade practices (grants employees living, not minimum wages).
  3. Ask your grocer or produce manager which produce and food products are produced organically and locally.
  4. Remember to keep a small shopping cart (Bed, Bath and Beyond has a great model), in the trunk of your car because you never know when a Farmer’s Market is upon you with more markets cropping up every year.

Read more of my column The Main Course on GreatGrub

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

Re: Farmer's Market

Farmers’ markets are growing in popularity across the UK. Check out the certified farmers market website to find one close to you.

And if you are in London, be sure to take the time to visit Borough Market.

Re: Farmer's Market