I recently had the pleasure of meeting a dear friend of mine at a local farmer’s market. It was a glorious spring Saturday morning and rain from the night before left a dew on the landscape in the little town of Waxhaw.
We met at 9:00 am and took our sweet southern time walking around the quaint market. We had the opportunity to meet each local farmer. Along the way, we learned about each farm, what they grow, and how they grow it. It was awesome to learn about each farmer’s why—why they do what they do—their day-to-day life on the farm, and how the fruit of their daily labor directly empowers us as consumers to reach our wellness goals.
We started at The Boy & Girl farmstand, where I purchased the most beautiful red and green leaf lettuce on the planet. Each head of lettuce was the size of a soccer ball, every leaf was perfect.
Next, we visited the DabHar farmstand where we met Farmer Phyllis. Her collection of purple carrots and pea pods, along with her white parsnips and farm fresh eggs showcased some of the best local produce around.
The amazing scent of fresh herbs and microgreens drew me into the next farmstand where I learned all about the excellent nutritional value of microgreens—these little gems have some serious flavor. Did you know they are so flavorful they can be used to season foods? Holy cow, they pack a punch.
Each farmer offered an array of freshly picked, I’m talking “early-morning-crack-of-dawn” freshly picked nutrient-packed fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs, and whole grains.
Here’s the deal, These foods are harvested and available for consumption the same day. You know where it was grown, how it was grown and that it’s at its optimal nutritional value. Why is this important? The phytonutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables are imperative to help our bodies fight off free radicals that cause diseases like cancer and diabetes not to mention premature aging and wrinkles. You heard me girls wrinkles, I’m not making this stuff up.
Let’s use a head of broccoli as an example. When you purchase broccoli from a local farmer you’re getting the optimal nutritional value from your purchase. The food is directly from the farmer’s hand into yours. When you purchase broccoli from a grocery store, which all of us need to do out of necessity; we have no idea how many hands it has touched, how long it traveled, or when it was harvested.
The three things that destroy nutrients in fruits and vegetables after picking are exposure to heat, air, and oxygen. The longer the produce travels and the more hands that touch it, the less nutritional value it provides. Harvest-to-consumer time can be upwards of a week when purchasing from a grocery store.
Our local farmers are in the business of providing our communities with healthy, nutrient pack foods at a reasonable price. When asked why they do what they do, many of the farmer’s responses were similar: simply put, they are passionate about helping people live in a state of wellness.
It doesn’t matter if your a loyal farmer’s market shopper or if you usually buy your veggies in the frozen section of your local grocery store, all are welcome! There’s no one kind of person that shops at the farmers market, we all have the same need to eat and we are all in the market to improve our health.
Did I mention that often the produce at your local farmer’s market is sold at a lower cost than what you would find in a grocery store? Check out the picture above of the beautiful bounty of produce I came home with from my visit to the Waxhaw Farmers Market last weekend. I spent less than $20.00
Heres a shout out to a few more of my local favorites. The Matthews Community Farmers Market is amazing! My all time favorite farm is New Town Farms! Sammy & Melinda from New Town Farms offer beautiful produce, poultry, eggs and so much more!
I used this website to find the farmers markets near me, you can use it to find one near you!