The top 10 reasons farmers markets rock


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Spring has sprung into summer, and farmers markets are in full bloom. Many cities offer them on different days of the week at different times (though usually in the mornings), giving us options aplenty for purchasing local and regional products from small-and mid-sized producers.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 reasons we absolutely love farmers markets:


The puppy-watching factor

For those of us sans chien, these are the undisputed best places to see, pet and frolic with man’s best friend. Bonus: no poop-cleanup required.


Vast selection

Variety is the spice of life at farmers markets, so whether you’re searching out produce, meat, butter or even booze, your needs will be covered.


Broaden your horizons

Many farmers and other vendors dabble in obscure, unique or limited-run products, making markets the perfect places to hunt for and try out new foods and ingredients.


Freshen up

Plain and simple, farm food is fresher, since it hasn’t been shipped long distances like supermarket produce.


It’s the economy, stupid

When you shop at farmers markets, you’re supporting local and regional vendors, as well as your city’s economy. Who doesn’t feel good about that?


Quality control

Small producers often don’t use the additives, preservatives, antibiotics and hormones associated with large farming operations. Your health thanks you.


Cheap eats

Many farmers markets include vendors making prepared breakfast and lunch foods for under $10.


Making conversation

Beyond just making a purchase, you can actually interact with the people who grew/raised/made your food.


On the calendar

While summertime farmers markets are the most common in regions that experience four seasons, some markets do stay open year-round—even in such cold-weather climates as Chicago and Cleveland.


Added value

Put simply, farmers markets just offer cool stuff, like seeing folk singers, getting your knives sharpened and watching chef tutorials.