The popularity of farmers markets are coming back, and it’s nothing short of awesome! The weather is finally warm again, providing the perfect chance to grab locally sourced and homegrown produce, meats, and other handmade products.
It’s just as important for you to find ways to establish a healthier lifestyle as it is to support those in the community who can provide that to you. Farmers Markets provide cost-efficient ways to find the food that you want, and by shopping at your local market, you’ll be supporting present and future generations of farmers within your community. Farmers Markets also provide the chance for the community to come together and be social, an important aspect of any society. You can read more about the importance of farmers markets at farmersmarketcoalition.org!
You may find yourself reaching for the same food groups every time. Why not try something different this year, should you stumble across it at your local market? A trend report from Statista revealed the 2018 produce trends this year to be:
- Heirloom fruits and vegetables (62%)
The term ‘heirloom’ refers to something of generational value. These plants and vegetables are open-pollinated with reusable seeds to be saved for the following year. These are going to be your tomatoes, squash, watermelons, corn, beets, and other tasty varieties found at your local farmers market.
- Uncommon herbs (61%)
These herbs won’t be found in your everyday grocery aisle, but you may get lucky with an eclectic vendor stand at your local farmers market! Your common herbs like rosemary, parsley, and oregano are great because of their availability, but uncommon herbs can quite literally ‘spice’ up your life in a really great way! Examples of some of the more uncommon herbs that you can find at markets would be Thai Basil, Lemon Verbena, Red Perilla, Winter Savory and Caraway. From soup accents to medical aids, these herbs have many different uses. Why not try them out?
- Hybrid fruits and vegetables (60%)
These are fun. Because why not take your plum and apricot, cross-pollinate the seed, and create something even more delicious, like a pluot? Or maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll find something more exotic like pineberries – a strawberry that tastes like a pineapple! From Broccoflower to Kalette, Ugli fruit to Tangelos, hybrid fruits and vegetables offer the option to try something out of the ordinary while adding vitamins and nutrients to your diet in a fun way!
- Exotic fruits (52%)
You’ll probably be less likely to find these at your local farmers market, but it’s worth looking! Admit it – you’ve seen that bin of dragon fruit at the store and wondered what it tastes like, but don’t want to take the chance because of the higher cost. Farmers markets are the perfect chance to try something exotic at a more economical, conscionable price! Taste the flavors of countries abroad with produce like Mexico’s Chayote, Thailand’s Pomelo, and Africa’s Kiwano (if you get lucky enough to find them).
- Superfruit (51%)
Superfruits or super foods, in general, allow for a high amount of health benefits with every bite. In order for a fruit to be a ‘super’ fruit, scientists must have found some extraordinary qualifying boost it can add to your diet such as antioxidants, fiber, extra vitamins and minerals, or other things. Some of these fruits can help you live longer, feel and look better, and even prevent illnesses. Examples include easily findable apples (fiber and antioxidants), Açaí berries (high antioxidants), and bananas (potassium)!
Here are four favorites
Shepherdstown Farmers Market – Shepherdstown, WV
Charles Town Farmers Market – Charles Town, WV
Harrisonburg Farmers Market – Harrisonburg, VA
Leesburg Farmers Market – Leesburg, VA
Wherever you’re location in the Shenandoah Valley, we hope you’ll find the time on the weekends to support your local farmers by shopping at farmers markets! Plus, don’t miss out on Schenck Foods Co.’s giant Farmers Market celebration at the end of May! For details, click here.