Saturday, May 28, 2011
THE FARMERS MARKET - ARE YOU MISSING ON A GREAT EXPERIENCE AND A CHANCE TO SAVE MONEY?
Just about every major city within North and South Carolina has a Farmers Market. Some of these markets are affiliated with the state's Department of Agriculture and some are indepedent markets put on by the city or other co-op. We've all seen the signs for them, however many of us have never visited one. I am the first to admit, I used never consider visiting them. That all changed about a year ago, when we moved near the State Farmers Market here in Greenville, SC.
We have a friend who enjoys shopping at the farmers market, because everything is fresh, local and that the prices are usually less than the grocery. One day we ventured out to our local market and came back fans. What we found was more than just fruits and vegetables. We found the Farmers Market to have beans, meats and dairy products from local farms. The big trend in the foodie scene is using local ingredients. Hence, with your local farmers market, you don't get much more local than that.
In addition to the official state markets, many cities have their own that usually run on Friday's (Columbia) or Saturdays (Greenville) from May to October. These markets are fun as well, but I will admit, aside from sponsoring local organizations with local products, they can be on the pricier end. The city market's usually offer more of a variety than your state markets.
If you haven't yet, I encourage you to give your local Farmers Market a try and check out the quality and pricing. You're not only helping yourself (read healthy eating, saving money), you are also helping local farmers! You never know, being a regular could really be beneficial in getting the best deals.
Below are links to locations of State Farmers Markets in both NC and SC:
North Carolina: http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/facilities/markets/
South Carolina: http://agriculture.sc.gov/statefarmersmarkets
These are oteher locally grown markets within SC:
Feel free to share any tips, advice or other local markets, not mentioned.