Garden: The Farmer’s Market

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

Even when you have a garden I believe it is extremely important to utilize and participate in your local Farmer’s Markets. We have an abundance of them in Northern Michigan during the warm months and I always cannot wait to get to them and hunt for yummy fresh items to bring home and use for dinner or snacks throughout the week. We went to the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market right downtown Traverse City. There is another awesome one out in Suttons Bay as well…word on the street is that is where Mario Batali does his market shopping when he is here.

This weekend we went for the first time and I had wanted to pick up a few larger ready to plant plants especially Kale, Tomatoes, and Peppers in order to spread out our harvesting times. By purchasing a few ready to plant-right-now plants I can start harvesting a month or so sooner than I would have if I had just waited for my sprouts. Purchasing your plants at the Farmer’s Market from a local farmer that grows organically from harvested seeds helps insure that you are getting quality plants.

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

Now you may think buying quality plants at the Farmer’s Market is more expensive but this is not true. We purchased 20 plants for only $25 which was actually cheaper than if we went to the garden store and I got to talk directly to the farmer who grew the sprouts himself. The other thing is  that that $25 will give us enough kale, tomatoes, and peppers for over 3 months which would normally cost well over $300 if I were to buy them at the grocery store or even back here at the market. Another great reason to put the time and effort in to even a very small garden.

This weekend we went for the first time and I had wanted to pick up a few larger ready to plant plants especially Kale, Tomatoes, and Peppers since mine were coming but would all arrive at one time. By purchasing a few ready to plant now plants I can start harvesting a month or so sooner than I would have I had just waited for my sprouts. Purchasing your plants at the Farmer's Market from a local farmer that grows organically from harvested seeds help insure that you are getting quality plants.

We also picked up some other things to take home for dinner and for other snacks throughout the week. I purchased 2 bunches of still-covered-in-sand asparagus for $5, 2 bunches of picked that morning kale for $5, and I got the prettiest bunch of radishes that were my one splurge at $4. Honestly it was still cheaper to purchase these things here than at the grocery store in the organic section. Normally I pay $5-$7 at our co-op for 1 bunch of asparagus even this time of year when it is in season. I also have spent all winter paying between $3-$4 for 1 bunch of organic kale. So I think it is worth the brisk morning to wake up and grab these super fresh veggies from the farmers.

This weekend we went for the first time and I had wanted to pick up a few larger ready to plant plants especially Kale, Tomatoes, and Peppers since mine were coming but would all arrive at one time. By purchasing a few ready to plant now plants I can start harvesting a month or so sooner than I would have I had just waited for my sprouts. Purchasing your plants at the Farmer's Market from a local farmer that grows organically from harvested seeds help insure that you are getting quality plants.

This weekend we went for the first time and I had wanted to pick up a few larger ready to plant plants especially Kale, Tomatoes, and Peppers since mine were coming but would all arrive at one time. By purchasing a few ready to plant now plants I can start harvesting a month or so sooner than I would have I had just waited for my sprouts. Purchasing your plants at the Farmer's Market from a local farmer that grows organically from harvested seeds help insure that you are getting quality plants.

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

The Farmer’s Market really is an important place. It is more than just about saving an extra dollar or even being hip and saying you went, it is about the personal interaction with the farmers who grow your food and supporting them in their craft. You should know where your food comes from whether you grow it yourself or pay for it from the farmer himself who tended to it. It is important to invest in good farmers just like it is important to support those who do artisan work. Farmers are artisans too. Tending to crops is an art and we so often forget that. Buying local is more than just helping the economy, it is about supporting the community you live in to do what is does well.

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

The Farmers Market and why should go  |  The Fresh Exchange

To find a local market google or call your chamber of commerce or city hall. They will have information on where to find the closest and best markets near you.

Happy Wednesday friends. What are you finding fresh near you right now?

Outfit:
Button Down: Madewell Worker Shirt ( I live in this shirt ) 
Jeans: Madewell – Madewell Wash Skinnies
Shoes: All Star Converse
Bag: Clyde Oak – Market Tote

Leave a comment

  1. Love this. I made an effort to go the farmers market more a few years back and it is such a rewarding experience. Buying directly from the people that grew the produce with their hands and getting recommendations of their favorite things is the best. The asparagus is so good right now!

  2. We grow everything from seeds, but I think this is the next best alternative (and cost effective) to buying seedlings. Farmers markets are a great memory for me as a kid when me and my dad would visit to get planting ideas.

  3. This makes me miss my home. The TC Farmer’s Market was part of my Saturday morning ritual with my mom. Good memories. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I love markets 🙂 They make me so happy! We don’t have many outside markets in Lancaster, but we do have Grand Central Market right in the heart of downtown and it’s one of the oldest markets on the east coast (if I remember my facts correctly…). I try to hit it up on a weekly basis and it’s con because it’s a block from my work and my best friend works at one of the stands! Yesterday I got freshly sliced cheese ($2 and change for half a pound!), a box of new potatoes for $2, and local spring mix lettuce for $2. I love it!

  5. Yes, yes, yes, to all of this. Love farmers’ markets. And I love that they have been becoming more popular now. There’s definitely a food revolution going on out there and it’s great.

  6. This is the perfect post, honestly. My husband works with a lot of area farmers right now and so we’ve been trying even more to shop at farmer’s markets and to buy local. Not only is it almost always cheaper, but it’s healthier, and supports your community – I can’t find any downsides! I wish more people would go. The strawberries I got last weekend were possibly the best I’d ever had in my entire life too, so that doesn’t hurt either. 😉

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  7. This year I need to make more of an effort to buy local food. I’m growing my own basil, and we get asparagus and other goodies from my boyfriend’s parents’ garden. There are also so many great farmer’s markets around that there is really no reason for us not to eat local produce!

    This reminds me of a great TED Talk I watched recently, by Ron Finley, who is involved in planting and maintaining what he calls “urban food forests” – his message was really simple, yet really powerful. Food is powerful, food is important. It makes me want to be part of the “changing the soil” he talks about. (http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la.html)

  8. I love the photographs, and I’m jealous that your local Farmer’s Market looks so well stocked! Ours hear in Brooklyn is a little sparse still – mostly flowers, leftover apples, and jarred products. I’m eagerly awaiting some fresh green veggies and summer berries!

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