When is the last time that you have gone to your local farmer’s market to do your shopping?   Do you know the benefits to meeting who is growing your produce, making your cheese, processing your meat? Does it hold any relevance to purchase food that is found locally to help with the economy of your community? These are all definitely great reasons to invest a little time at your farmer’s market.  For me, it is about all these things but it happens to also be a great social activity. 

While I lived in Madison, WI, I had a ritual on Saturday mornings that was similar to many people throughout our country; get up early, get the shopping done, clean the house and then would get into whatever plans that Saturday would have in store.  In the warmer months, my shopping was mostly done at the farmer’s market downtown around the capital square.  I would get there early, meet a friend or two for coffee and a pastry, and then make a loop or two around the market to get the supplies I may need for the week.  I formed relationships with some of the farmer’s and got to not only know their lives, but what was happening on their farms and what I should be watching out for.  It is like having a tip on the stock market, but with produce.

The farmer’s market also gave me the chance to see what local social issues were being taken on.  The farmer’s market is a great opportunity to meet a lot of people in a short amount of time and share with them the passion that is moving your cause.  While I was hanging out today, I checked out The Human Project and Amnesty International. 

These pictures are from the farmer’s market this morning in Madison.  A great place to find your local farmer’s market is at localharvest.org.  You can find a local farmer’s market as well as different kinds of specialty farms.