People are often encouraged to buy local. The idea being local food typically has less transportation emissions involved and has the benefit of stimulating your local economy. I personally tend to spend my some of my money during the summer months at the local farmer’s market.
Now despite the logical reasons for doing it for the environment I’ll be honest: I don’t buy at my farmer’s market just for the environment. I buy produce there because it tastes much better than the stuff I can buy at my local grocery store. It’s all about freshness (and the fact I’ve always worked within two blocks of the market so it’s convenient too).
It’s an interesting fact now a days that people who buy from the big change stores sometimes don’t realize how much different food can taste when it is really fresh. There is just some vital to food just out of the garden the day before you buy it and take it home and eat it. It just tastes better and often has a much nicer texture too. Also at the market I’ve found I tried a bunch of food I never would have thought of to try before. I’m not sure if my regular store even carries some of the squash I bought last fall or some of varieties of greens.
The down side of the market is: it’s a market, so prices can be higher than your grocery store, the same or even lower some times. It really just depends on the local supply and demand. I know last fall I literaly watched the price of my potatoes drop for about four weeks in a row at the market. As more crops came in they fulled the market and the price dropped as every tried to move them.
So this spring I’ll encourage you to try and find you local farmer’s market and give it a try. You might find like me the original reason for being there might change from environmentally motivated to just plain old selfish.