The farmers market is a great spot to pick up some groceries while having a fun day in the sun. And luckily, in Berkeley, you have a ton of farmers markets to choose from. Especially now that indoor activities with people you don’t live with aren’t recommended, farmers markets are a great excuse to socialize while getting some grocery shopping done.
Enjoy a socially distanced activity
Now that hanging out with friends outside your household mostly means spending time in an outdoor environment where you can remain 6 feet apart, you might need a new fun place to hang out! The farmers market is definitely the spot — most are open-air, with plenty of room to walk around and keep space from people. You can invite a couple of friends, enjoy the fun stalls and chat with vendors — many are super willing and excited to talk to you about what they’re selling.
Support local farmers
Especially given recent criticisms regarding the unethical treatment of agricultural workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, now is a great time to support local farmers rather than farming corporations. Local farmers put a lot of time and energy into growing amazing, nourishing food, and though it’s harder for them to sell for prices as low as you’ll find in some grocery stores, knowing that you’re supporting ethical work practices is a great reason to buy locally.
Appreciate organic eats
Eating locally farmed food is super healthy for you — many small-scale farmers grow organically, meaning chemical fertilizers and pesticides aren’t used or are used very minimally. Often, if you chat with someone who works at a farmers market stand, they’ll talk to you about the growing process. When you go to a farmers market, you know the food you’re getting is fresh, and many vendors even provide samples, so you can taste how good their food is before buying (although this is less available given current health guidelines). Many farmers market stands may display less than perfect vegetables — eggplants with small brown spots or carrots with dirt still on them. These veggies are perfectly good, and little imperfections only go to represent how natural the growing process is.
Buy some lunch, buy a craft, buy a treat
Farmers markets aren’t just for fruits and veggies. Most have stalls where you can buy a full meal, be that delicious crepes that are made right in front of you or nourishing vegan Ethiopian food. Especially on a nice day, it can be a great spot to grab a bite and then find a nearby park to sit and eat in. Farmers markets often also have fun craft items such as candles and lotions, and they can be a great spot to find unique gifts. Because the people selling these items are often the ones who made them, they are the perfect people to talk to about the benefits of the product they’re selling.
Get involved in your community
Farmers markets are a great place to be active in your community and get to know the people growing the food you eat! Even though it can be hard to feel integrated into your community when you can’t physically be with neighbors or support local programs, the farmers market is the perfect way to be active in your local community and find out about other cool events.
Are you inspired to take a trip to your local farmers market yet? You should check it out this upcoming weekend as a way to stimulate your economy locally and get outside on a nice day. Maybe this can become your new shopping routine! Happy veggie eating!
Contact Elysa Dombro at [email protected].