Farmers’ Market Season is Here!
by Wendy Beckman, MS, RD, CDN
My local farmers’ market is up and running for the season! I love buying fresh local produce from farmers that live and work right around the corner from me. Nothing beats the freshness of what our local farmers have to offer.
Purchasing local produce is a great way to make half your plate fruits and vegetables! I love a colorful plate – looking at the beautiful local produce in my salad bowl or on my dinner plate. When I look at my colorful plate, I know that I will be getting vitamins, minerals, and fiber that my body needs to be healthy.
At the farmers’ market near my house I find vegetables grown near my hometown. A really fun part of this is when I find vegetables “new to me.” Last summer I found beautiful turnips, and I’d never noticed them at the grocery store. I bought the turnips and I put them in a vegetable beef soup. They added wonderful flavor and texture. Thanks to the farmers’ market, I discovered something great!
Farmer’s Markets by County (NYS Ag & Markets)
Here are several benefits of choosing to purchase produce at farmers’ markets:
1. You’ll often find produce that is priced economically because it’s in season for your area. Prices are often lower during growing seasons when farmers have a surplus of goods.
2. You know that what you buy at farmers’ markets is fresh, and you will be reducing your carbon footprint by purchasing food that didn’t have to be shipped over long distances.
3. You can feel great about your community and New York State’s growers. Your purchases help support jobs in your community and farmers who work hard year-round to ensure they’ll have a plethora of healthy choices for hungry consumers. New York’s bountiful collection of artisans, restaurant owners, growers, crafters, distilleries, and shops package our state’s impressive and delicious products branded as “New York made”. Visit Taste NY!
4. You might be eligible for free coupons if you are age 60 or older and you meet certain income requirements. Senior Farmers’ Market Coupons are issued every year by the US Department of Agriculture. They are distributed by your local Office for the Aging. Each coupon booklet contains $20 worth of coupons that can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from participating farmers’ markets.
Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather at your local farmers’ market! You will be amazed at what you can find.
For more information about choosing healthy, fresh produce:
SNAP-Ed NY: The Benefits of Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Wendy Beckman, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian with the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA). She has over 13 years working as a Registered Dietitian in long term care and acute care settings and currently oversees the NYSOFA SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education program for older adults in New York State.
This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For more information on how to save time, save money and eat healthy, visit www.snapedny.org