Farmers’ Markets, Veggie Stands, Wholesalers: Oh My!

As the green movement spreads, more and more innovative resources are arising for locavores and organic lovers alike. With a little creativity and a willingness to look beyond the traditional grocery store, those farm fresh strawberries will find their way straight from the fields to your palette.

Do you live in or near a rural area?  If so, many farms stockpile stands by the side of the road with surplus produce.  The prices are reasonable, and you’ll have your pick of in-season fruit and veggies.  For city dwellers, more permanent stands are often hidden throughout the metro area.  These are small operations, so your best bet is to get there around mid-morning when the shelves are fully stocked.  Keep cash or a checkbook on hand in case they don’t take credit cards. 

Seasonal farmers’ markets draw farmers from around the region to sell gorgeous, nutrient-rich produce at competitive prices.  They run anywhere from once to several times a week, dependent on the size of the city and the season.  Try visiting towards the end of the day when some farmers start offering leftover produce at discounted rates.  If you’re lucky enough to live next to a major supplier of a certain type of food, don’t hesitate to go right to the source.  For Pacific Northwesters, seek out terminals where fishermen dock and start bargaining away!

To find these often hidden resources, both word of mouth and a stroll around the neighborhood are the best ways to go.  For a more comprehensive look, enter your zip code into this Eat Well Guide and find farms and markets nearest to you.  Soon you’ll be experiencing food the way it’s really meant to taste.  So map out your resources and get to gathering!