With non-essential shops reopening their doors for the first time in months recently, the UK’s economy is taking its first tentative steps towards recovery following the Covid-19 or coronavirus outbreak. Whilst our fight against COVID-19 certainly isn’t over yet, there’s never been a more important time to support the business community.
Small business owners, in particular, need our help to get back on track. These include local farmers who have been impacted heavily during this time of crisis due to decreased demand for their products in light of bar, restaurant, and café closures. The closure of farmers’ markets also affected profits for local food producers. But with some markets back up and running, showing your support and shopping locally for your fresh produce could help the farmers in your area recover.
Here are six more reasons why visiting your local farmers’ market makes perfect sense for everyone involved!
1. It’s cheaper
Cutting out the middleman and shopping directly is great for your purse strings. In the supermarket, you’ll pay a premium for organic fruits and veggies. But at your local farmers’ market, you’ll be able to get great quality organic produce for a fraction of the price.
2. It’s fresher
Your fruit and veg will only have to undertake one journey (from the farm to the market), which means the produce you buy will be fresher than ever. Supermarkets may source from local farms, but their preferred list of suppliers means the fruits and vegetables found on their shelves may have been acquired from much further afield.
Whether you’re doing your full shop after embracing veganism or stocking up on your five a day, the produce available at your local farmers’ market is the freshest it can possibly be.
3. It’s seasonal
Each season sees an array of fresh, delicious produce become available to us. By eating seasonally, you unlock a range of advantages for your health and wellbeing, as well as your finances and the wider planet.
Seasonal produce is after all more environmentally friendly. Producing fruits and vegetables traditionally grown out of season requires more refrigeration, irradiation and transportation, which can make your food bill particularly costly. Seasonal produce tastes better too as Joe Cross details:
“In-season produce is fresher and tastes better, sweeter and perfectly ripe. When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption that have been naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time, it will have much more flavor and nutrition. Most people have experienced that super juicy perfectly sweet orange in winter or that crispy sweet pineapple in summer.”
Seasonal fruits and vegetables have greater nutritional value. There are after all designed to cater to the seasonal demands that your body faces, leaving you stronger, happier and healthier.
4. There’s more variety
Being inspired to cook dishes you never thought of cooking or trying a new recipe has never been so easy when shopping at your local farmers’ market. Farmers’ markets offer tons more variety, with the most amazing assortment of fresh produce to choose from.
St Albans Market is based just a stone’s throw away from So Cosy HQ, and offers tons of variety to inspire your next home-cooked dish.
As one of the oldest markets in the UK, St Albans Market is well worth a visit, whether you live in the area or are travelling from a little further afield. St Albans Market has been trading since the 9th or 10th century, and has been a vital part of the city’s history ever since.
These days it hosts a farmers’ market on the second Sunday of each month. The market showcases a fantastic range of produce alongside hot and cold food, baked goods, and street food, all of which have been locally produced. The market has a very special place in So Cosy’s history too – we actually started our business here in 2011.
5. It’s fun
A trip to your local supermarket is more of a chore than an experience, but the same isn’t true at a farmers’ market.
Visiting a farmers’ market is fun for all the family and a great way to connect with your local community. You’ll get to meet the producers, and even be able to grill them about where your food comes from and how it’s produced.
6. It’s convenient
Even if your local farmers’ market isn’t open yet, you can still shop locally online. Many local farmers have moved with the times, especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, to provide an online service for the purchase and delivery of their produce.
Whether you shop online or head down to your local market, shopping locally will provide the boost your community needs to recover from Covid-19 together.