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It’s almost that time of year again… vegetation season!

Vegetation season is underway and crops are being sewn as we speak! So it leads me to wonder and begs me to ask, do you do business with any of your local farmers? If so, how often do you shop at your local Farmers’ Market? Where does most of the grocery money go?

When you shop at your local farmers market, you are not only getting localized, fresh, seasonal food. You’re helping support a local farmer and their family’s lively-hood!

I have come up with 8 reasons why not only you should be supporting these farmers, but I will prove how the money invested in a good, dependable farmer can be one of the best decisions you could make for your families health!!!!!

1) Locally grown food tastes and looks better.

The crops are picked at their peak, making them nutritionally dense. While farmstead products like cheeses are hand-crafted for best flavor. Livestock products are processed in nearby facilities and typically the farmer has a direct relationship with processors, overseeing quality – unlike animals processed in large industrial facilities.

2) Local food is better for you.

The shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food. Food imported from far away is older and has traveled on trucks or planes, and sat in warehouses before it gets to you. These very same foods are laden with chemicals to keep them looking appealing!

3) Local food preserves genetic diversity.

In the modern agricultural system, plant varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen uniformly, withstand harvesting, survive packing and last a long time on the shelf, so there is limited genetic diversity in large-scale production. Smaller local farms, in contrast, often grow many different varieties of crops to provide a long harvest season, an array of colors, and the best flavors. Livestock diversity is also higher where there are many small farms rather than few large farms.

4) Local food is safe.

There’s a unique kind of assurance that comes from looking a farmer in the eye at farmers’ market or driving by the fields where your food comes from. Local farmers aren’t anonymous and they take their responsibility to the consumer seriously. Like any good business, they want the reassurance from their customers, the very same food they are selling you they are consuming themselves!!

5) Local food supports local families.

The wholesale prices that farmers get for their products are low, often near the cost of production. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food – which helps farm families stay on the land. Plus you are getting first dibs- food that was literally just picked and on your plates within hours of harvest !!

6) Local food builds community.

When you buy direct from a farmer, you’re engaging in a time-honored connection between eater and grower. Knowledge is power and in knowing farmers, it can give you insight into the seasons, the land, and your food. In many cases, it gives you access to a place where your children and grandchildren can go to learn about nature and agriculture.

7) Local food preserves open space.

When farmers get paid more for their products by marketing locally, they’re less likely to sell farmland for development. When you buy locally grown food, you’re doing something proactive to preserve the already working landscape. This landscape is an essential ingredient to other economic activity in the state, such as tourism and recreation.

8) Local food keeps taxes down.

According to several studies by the American Farmland Trust, farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas most development contributes less in taxes than the cost of required services.

So our society accepts the fact that we have a designated physician, mechanics, massage therapist, and even a stylist. But when we talk about our personal farmer its seems kinda strange, like Meijer’s is my grocery store ….right??? I assure you that the money invested in your local farmer is money worth spent and they will appreciate you too!! It’s a relationship worth building for your health and your families!!