Fall Farmer’s Markets and Local Food

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Fall is a great time of year to visit your local farmer’s markets!  There is an abundance of beautiful fruits and vegetables available in the fall and you can support your local farmer at the same time.  You can save money as well by buying your produce in season, while giving you the freshest, tastiest choices.  The produce is usually much fresher and more nutritious than you can find at supermarkets and is more likely to be organic.  Organically grown fruits and vegetables are grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, and ionizing radiation.  This means less exposure to chemicals and pesticides for you and your family.  Plus organic foods are often higher in nutrition and of course they taste better. If you can’t always get organic, strive to get local foods.  Foods grown in a nutrient rich soil and picked fresh have a richer flavor (not to mention the freshness, variety, and regional economic benefits of locally produced food).  My favorite site is Local Harvest, which is a website allowing you to find all the farmers’ markets, family farms, locally-grown produce, grass-fed meats, and other sources of sustainable food in your area.  Find the map at www.localharvest.org.  Another handy resource is an App called Fresh Food Finder which basically takes information right off USDA database for registered Farmers’ Markets, making it easy when you are on the go or traveling.  Be sure to ask the farmer you are buying from lots of questions so you know about the quality of the food you are buying.  Questions about their growing practices, what certifications they have, do they use organic or bio-dynamic practices, how often do they spray and what types of herbicides or pesticides do they use (hopefully none!), and general questions about their farm are helpful as you decide who and what to buy.

Check out this wonderful listing that highlights what is available here where I live in Michigan, or look for a guide to your local area:

Michigan Availability Guide

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