Not to be confused with my earlier post about the Really Really Free Market… A Farmer’s Market usually involves monetary transactions. Sorry, no free food here folks. BUT, you can find better deals than the chain grocery stores that pop up on every busy intersection.

My friends live and work on a farm and needed help this past weekend at their booth at the Farmer’s Market so my partner and I went down to help out. All of their vegetables are organically grown (and I’m sure there are organic farmers in your town too). Not only did I learn a lot about vegetables I’d never seen before, but I was able to interact with members of my community who I wouldn’t normally interact with. It’s a friendlier environment than waiting at a check out line and hearing the scanner beep after each barcode is processed.

While I was working the booth, I overheard so many people commenting about how cheap the produce is compared to the grocery store. Not only that, but it’s all organic too! Another great thing is that, unlike the grocery store, you can actually talk to the person who grew your food and ask questions like “What can I cook/make with this?”Everything is local, so that means cheaper transportation costs which makes the food cheaper for you. We all know about the benefits of eating local, right?

The Farmer’s Market in my town has live music and art vendors also. Depending on your area, your Farmer’s Market might be open everyday. Unfortunately in my town, it is only a weekly occurance happening each Saturday morning from 8am – 1pm.

If your schedule prevents you from attending the Farmer’s Market or if one doesn’t exist near you, many farms also have Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s) that you can subscribe too. Think of it this way, you pay a certain amount of money up front to help fund supplies and then as the plants grow, you get a “share” of the harvest. So it’s kind of like a magazine subscription, except its healthy food! You also may have remembered Jan’s experience in working on a CSA farm. You can find a CSA near you on Local Harvest.