Fresh food, intriguing crafts, and supporting your local economy.
Even if you’ve heard all the selling points before, trust us when we say this:
If you haven’t already, you need to find your local farmers’ market.
The fact is, farmers’ markets have been growing across the United States for years and recently have seen an even bigger series of growth. They are a great source of curated, specialty items and can grow into truly spectacular events that reach beyond a typical shopping experience.
But the benefits don’t end there.
There are plenty more excellent reasons for spending your next grocery trip at the market instead of a giant chain conglomerate.
Still not convinced?
Take a closer look and you may be surprised on how frequenting your town’s local farmers’ market just might transform your life, your local economy, and become your new favorite weekend activity.
The Benefits of Supporting Your Local Farmers’ Market
Here in Houston, it is almost impossible to go within a three-mile radius without running into a Kroger, HEB, Walmart, or even a Whole Foods in some cases. Each store serves its purpose and in all honesty, of course, you’ll still probably find yourself paying whichever suits your needs from time to time; however, what if you could find fresher ingredients for a competitive price on many of the things you were already planning to buy?
Save Money, Build Relationships
One of the biggest selling points of farmers’ markets is that they can actually save you money.
Consider this scenario:
- Farmer/vendor grows, raises, or creates an item and incurs all costs associated with its creation.
- Farmer/vendor then must sell it to a store for purchase for a certain price to cover the costs of and produce a profit. At the farmers’ market level this is when you would be sold the good, but with the supermarket model…
- Stores that have purchased the good(s) will now turn around to sell this good at an even higher price due to their initial purchasing cost and additional costs associated with maintaining and selling their inventory.
Farmers’ markets allow consumers to skip the “middleman” and buy directly from the source. Sure, you may not find exactly everything you normally would at a megastore, but there are great items that can commonly be procured and enjoyed from local markets all over:
- Produce from local farms. Organic and farm-to-table without many of the expensive costs typically associated.
- Delicious meat from local farmers. Buy in bulk and watch the savings pile up.
- Sauces, jams, jellies, etc. These are delicious additions to any kitchen that can be found, and sampled, throughout many farmer’s markets. A great way to find fresher condiments without preservatives that provide a wide range of flavors.
Get to know the farmers and vendors at your local market and soon you’ll build relationships that will allow them to anticipate your needs even further and provide better selections and prices than stores that see customers as somewhat faceless and nameless. In no time, you’ll find the benefits that exist in a farmers’ market, are simply not available in larger grocery stores.
Help Build Your Community
Speaking of building relationships, while this will help with your overall shopping experience, the longer lasting impressions that are going to be cultivated are those that strengthen your ties within your own community.
Farmers’ markets are the perfect place to socialize and provide a better opportunity to meet and begin to learn your neighbors than a traditional store. Farmers’ markets are notorious for simultaneously hosting various social events including local bands, art shows, live performers, wine and beer mixers, networking events, and so much more.
More of an introvert?
Your opportunity here isn’t limited to an absolute mandate to speak to every single individual at the market. Farmers’ markets allow for a very personalized experience and can still help build your community as a whole even if you stray away from the social activities that can come along with the marketplace.
Beyond Community, Farmers’ Markets Help Your Local Economy
Your community is a living, breathing economy no matter where you live and the success of its economy over time is determined by its ability to provide value and produce income.
Purchasing from chain stores diverts money from Houston’s various local economies to others as opposed to keeping the money spent closer to home and flowing through other local businesses.
Supporting smaller agricultural vendors in a sector in which according to Farm Aid, 6% of American farms are responsible for producing 3 out of 4 agricultural products, is becoming more critical than ever. Shopping local keeps more money near your home and ensures a brighter financial future for your community.
Not sold yet?
According to the Texas Farmers’ Market organization:
- Growers who sell locally can possibly produce 13 jobs for every $1 million in revenue that is created.
- Farmers’ markets return three times as much of their sales within the local economy.
Keep it local and watch your community’s economy receive an overall boost.
Farmers’ Markets Help the Environment
When you purchase from a local vendor, you are helping reduce the carbon footprint that is imprinted by humanity each day.
Local food sources require less pollution and at times less energy to produce, maintain and sell. Helping the Earth never tasted so good and when you shop at a farmers’ market you are able to do your small part that can add up to a world of good.
Niche Items, Specialty Items, and So Much More
Don’t get us wrong, we love finding a fresh head of lettuce or a few delicious ears of corn just as much as the next guy but farmer’s markets provide an opportunity for so much more than your typical day out scratching off a grocery list.
Walking these markets you’ll be invited by the kind and generous vendors by word, smell, and taste to enjoy fresh items that may not be found anywhere else.
Vendors of all sorts will be bottling, sampling, and even cooking some of the freshest sauces, dips, and snacks available.
If you’re into customized cold-pressed juices, hummus that is served 10 or more different ways, or some of the purest extra virgin olive oils on the planet, the farmer’s market is the perfect place for you.
Join Us Around Houston
Farmers in our communities and all across this country and the world hold one of the most important positions on the planet. The responsibility of caring for the Earth and providing food for humanity is noble, to say the least.
We here at Lakonia Imports are huge supporters of farmers and are proud to be a part of so many markets across Houston. From those who farm and harvest the delicious olives that create our MALVA Extra Virgin Olive Oils, to those feeding Houstonians in our own backyard. We invite you to check us out around the city of Houston and see the tastes we and the wonderful men and women that feed this country have in store for you.