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July 11, 2019 | Happenings, Health Advice

Visit a Farmers Market to Eat Healthier and Support Our Local Economy

During the warmer months, several farmers markets operate in our area. Here’s why you should visit one of them.

5 Reasons to Visit a Farmers Market

  1. Farmers markets have freshly picked, local produce. At farmers markets, you can purchase locally grown produce that the farmer picked not long before handing it to you. You get to enjoy the superior taste of field-ripened fruits and vegetables that stores can’t offer. Grocery store produce is harvested long before it arrives at the store. Most store produce must travel thousands of miles to reach consumers. In grocery stores, about one-third of the vegetables, and more than half of the fruit comes from other countries.
  2. Market day is a community event. Farmers markets enhance community life. They are a place to chat with neighbors, farmers, and sellers of artisanal food. Most vendors are happy to speak with you about ways to prepare the produce they’re selling. Some markets boost the community atmosphere with free live entertainment, activities for children, and cooking demonstrations.
  3. You support the local economy. Shopping at farmers markets keep dollars in our area rather than sending them to faraway corporations. Farmers markets return more dollars to their communities than chain stores. Also, growers who sell locally create more full-time jobs than producers who don’t sell locally.
  4. You can try rare fruits and vegetables that aren’t available elsewhere. You can increase the variety of your diet. Gooseberries, purple asparagus, rhubarb, and heirloom tomatoes are examples of the unusual produce you can find at farmers markets.
  5. You may improve your diet and your health. A study found frequent farmers market shoppers ate more fruits and vegetables than people who rarely shopped at farmers markets. The frequent shoppers also had a lower body mass index.

Here’s where you can go to experience farmers markets in our local area.

Hudson Farmers Market on Carmichael

You can browse the tables of colorful fruits and vegetables at Hudson Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from mid-June through October. Vendor Chicken Opera Farm of Beldenville, WI exemplifies the benefits of visiting farmers markets. Chicken Opera raises free-range fowl that are never given antibiotics or growth hormones. Chicken Opera produce is free of synthetic pesticides or herbicides. Like many of the market’s vendors, Chicken Opera Farm brings products made from its crops like orange rhubarb jam. Hudson Farmers Market is located at 777 Carmichael Road.

Baldwin’s Main St. Farmers Market

On most market days you’ll be treated to live music as you check out the stalls at Baldwin’s Main St. Farmers Market. There’s a mix of produce, local meats, baked goods, and fresh flowers. Even if you’ve previously visited this market, you’ll want to go again to check out new vendors like Rooted Acres Homestead. Owners Andrea Sorenson and David Holodnack offer field-fresh produce, eggs, pork, and lamb. Andrea’s sourdough bread has already become a customer favorite. The market is held in Bailey Park Main Street and 6th Avenue. The market is open rain or shine on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from June until the second Saturday in October.

River Falls Farmers Market

At the River Falls Farmers Market, you have access to hyperlocal agricultural products. All vendors must farm within 35 miles of River Falls. Since this is a producer-only market, vendors bring truly fresh produce they’ve just harvested. The selection of fruits and vegetables frequently changes because these producers only bring what’s ripe in their fields. Meat, herbs, baked goods, garden plants, and fresh cut flowers are also for sale. The market is open Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The address is 1121 S Main Street in the parking lot at Dick’s Fresh Market.