I love to shop at farmers markets. There is a large selection of fresh food grown locally and many great bargains to be found. They are fun to walk around and you can sample different foods, spices, and treats. There are many good reasons to go to a farmers market. First of all, you can support your local farmers instead of big, corporate factory farms. Just as important, shopping at a farmers markets helps you to eat seasonally and locally. The produce is fresher and fantastic. It hasn’t been sitting in a truck while making a cross country trek. Many small farmers use little or no pesticides. Talk to the farmers and find out about their pesticide use. While the produce may not be USDA certified organic, as certification is very costly, it might still be pesticide free. Furthermore, eating local foods has many environmental benefits, including lowering your carbon footprint. You can find all sorts of wonderful things aside from produce. You can also find local meats and fish, cheeses, jams, spices, herbs, and baked goods at many farmers markets. Next, farmers markets will save you money. Usually the produce is substantially cheaper than at the grocery store. If you want to save even more money, go towards the end. Often the farmers don’t want to haul the unsold produce back to their farms, so they’ll sell it at a discount before the market closes. Finally, you can get to know some local farms and farmers. Many farmers will offer advice on how to prepare different fruits and vegetables. They’ll also be able to answer questions about their produce. Some of the farms might offer self pick produce, some might have animals you can visit, and some might offer community supported agriculture (CSA). CSA has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. This is how it works: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (membership or subscription) and in return receive a basket of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. Look online for a local farmers market in your area. Most cities will have many every weekend. They are free to explore and you never know what surprises you might find!