Farmers Market Challenge

Good morning!I’ve spent the morning enjoying breakfast, drinking coffee, snuggling the Bean and catching up with everything else!

In addition to the million things we did yesterday, (I’ll do a recap in the next day or so) the Bean and I made time to get to the local farmers market. It, as always, was so worth the time!

Yum yum is right! Just look at those peppers!

I don’t even know what some of this is and I’m still excited!

Here are some fun facts about the farmers market, just in time for harvest-season!

  • Farmers markets are your absolute best bet for fresh, organic, whole food. The majority of the produce at the market was picked that very morning. Can you say that about anything you find at the supermarket?
  • When you shop at the farmers market, over 95% of your money stays in the local economy. Compare that the under 10% when you shop at the supermarket.
  • When you give your money to the farmers directly, it allows them to make a decent profit off of their produce. Again, the money stays local and you’re supporting a living wage for farmers, not some CEO’s salary at the Food Giant!
  • Farmers markets are good for the environment. Because each farmer brings their produce in from their local farms, less fuel is used trucking produce from..well, who knows where really? Do you know where your tomatoes from the supermarket came from?
  • Farmers at the market are great tools! I’m pretty sure the 16 year old working at the supermarket can’t give you detailed advice, recipes and directions for creating the very best meals out of what you buy. All you have to do is ask the farmers!

Still not convinced? Check out this video about the chemicals used in supermarket potatoes. Note that this includes what the supermarket calls, “organic”.

Crazy right? When we shop at the supermarket, we are paying for the chemicals in our produce. Lucky, yes? Blech!

Ok, so moving on! I think the concern I hear most from people about farmers markets is that they’re too expensive. I have to ask the question: Too expensive compared to what? If you go to the store and pile a cart full of processed, ready to eat food, then yes. Piling your cart full of fresh, whole foods would be more expensive. If you are this person, I encourage you to stick with the blog, and check out my Happy Place(s) page for links to sites that can help you learn about the foods our bodies are, and are not, built to consume.

For those of you with genuine concern for the cost of fresh, local produce, I offer the following challenge. I accepted it yesterday and wasn’t disappointed!

Take a $20 dollar bill with you to your local farmers market. Now, look around and pick out $20 worth of whole foods you would normally buy at the store.

When you get home, look at everything you purchaced. This is what we came home with.

Heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, pear tomatoes and all-natural beer bread mix.

Cookies. They were still warm. *sigh*

Finally, my favorite find! Basil, rosemary, thyme and garlic infused vinegar.

Because of local pickling laws (who knew?!) the farmer had to sell the vinegar separately from the herbs/garlic.

She said when you get home, simply add the bag of herbs to the vinegar and let it set for 2 weeks. I tasted some that she’d made 2 weeks ago and…wow. I wish you could just smell it!

It will be a perfect marinade and salad dressing! I can’t wait!

The vinegar was kind of an out-of-the-ordinary purchase, so I kind of expected to have to write a check when I bought it.

“How much?” I asked

“$5 even.” She responded.

Hm. I still have $3 left in my purse.$17 for everything I brought home. Not bad…but lets see how it compares.

The next part of the challenge is to compare what you bought at the market to what it would have cost you at the store.

At my local supermarket and specialty kitchen store (for the bread mix and vinegar):

Heirlooms were not even available, but looking them up online showed I would have paid $3.00/tomato.

One pint of pear tomatoes: $5.00

One pound of green beans: $4.00

Three Cucumbers: $2.50

Beer Bread mix: $7.00

5 Fresh Cookies: $3.00

Herb and Garlic Infused Vinegar: $16.00

Grand total for what I would have spent at the store, (keeping in mind that not everything was even available at the store) $43.50.

Wow. I rest my case right? I mean, unless all those extra chemicals, additives and preservatives are worth the additional $26.50 to you.

I totally double-dog dare you to take on this challenge! Let me know what you find!

Well, I’m off to get out of my jammies and take our Sweet Boy for a run. It’s 62 degrees right now…I’m not even sure what to wear in weather like this, but I sure am excited!

Have a great rest of your Sunday!

One Comment to “Farmers Market Challenge”

  1. Jamie- Thanks for the great info in the Farmer’s Market piece! I love knowing all the positive reasons to buy local.

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