Support Local Communities by Shopping at Farmers Markets!
Shopping at your local farmers market is a great way to support your community. Not only does it stimulate the economy in your area, there’s a lot of nutritious stuff at the farmers markets that you can’t get in mainstream grocery stores, the produce is usually cheaper than the grocery store and usually grown with organic guidelines, and it is fresh! Shopping at your local farmers market is a true farm to table experience.
Here are a handful of items that I either shop for myself or seal out for my husband or for gifts at my local farmers market here on South Padre Island.
#1 Handmade Goat Cheese
The fact that this cheese is not made in a factory really appeals to me. The guy selling the cheese at the booth literally stirs the goat milk (which came from the goats on the farm) into cheese. I am not a cheese eater, but if I were to splurge, I would buy goat cheese from a local goat farmer who churns his own goat milk into cheese.
#2 Homemade Bread
This homemade bread that I get from Franny’s Garden is REAL bread. One small loaf weighs about the same, if not more, than Sunbeam’s bleached white bread.
It has ingredients like whole grain spelt (“happy wheat” is what they call it in the recipe she uses from the 1700s!), chia seeds, flax seeds, etc. Even though this loaf of bread is distinctly heavier (more dense and nutritionally dense) I don’t feel weighed down after eating it and I am getting a ton of nutrition that I don’t get from store bought bread.
#3 Fresh Salsa (no preservatives)
Here at Loco’s Roasted Salsas, the salsas come with the simplest ingredients you can with only one to three ingredients (4 if you count the jelly).
- Peppers (fresh, grilled, or smoked)
- Tomatoes (red or tomatillos)
- (And sugar in the jalapeño jelly)
Because it doesn’t have preservatives, it won’t keep long after you open it, so be sure to eat it up fast!
#4 Homemade Soap
I love buying homemade soap, especially directly from the source at farmers markets. This is where you’ll get the best price for handmade soaps. I like the vegan soaps. There are some that will use honey or goats milk but if you’re vegan, you’re already savvy enough to be asking those questions and lots of homemade soap is vegan.
The handmade soap is going to use all natural ingredients which doesn’t include petroleum base (as in oil) that you get in mainstream soaps. Instead, they use olive oil, coconut oil, and other natural ingredients.
#5 Fresh Meats
There is a beef booth here that sells beef cuts that are made to order. This is hard for me to talk about because this is not the booth for me. But I realize there are a lot of beef eaters out there and if you’re going to eat beef, know where it came from, what their process is, and is it humane? For my carnivore fans out there, this is The freshest of the fresh. (It makes me sad writing about it). I’m done here.
#6 BBQ Sauce
I may be mostly meatless, but I still find good use for good BBQ sauce. Mr. Jones’ finger licking good BBQ sauce can be found in HEB stores around Texas. Only the new stuff is out at the South Padre Island Farmers Market so you can go there to be one of the first to try his newest additions. Come November Janky BBQ sauce will release a sugarless BBQ sauce at the market that uses monk fruit for sweetener and is Keto friendly!
#7 Fresh Spreads
The nut butters at the store are either super expensive or have preservatives in them. At Raw Xocolatl, they only use the purest ingredients to provide maximum nutrition. They are also packaged in easily transportable tubes that are perfect for bringing with you on a hike, biking, or a beach trip.
#8 Healing Herbs
There’s a booth here at the South Padre Island Farmers Market that is independently operated by Homero. He has a variety of delicious freshly roasted granola, but is most noted for his fresh Moringa capsules. You can visually see the quality in the vibrant green color.
Moringa is a medicinal plant that has a laundry list of benefits. Here are just a few that have been claimed:
- Cancer prevention
- Blood sugar maintenance (good for those with diabetes)
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Decrease edema (and inflammation)
- Improve skin health
- Improve heart health and heart repair
- Asthma treatment
Kombucha is a fermented bacteria that is choc full of probiotics which support gut health. It is naturally carbonated by the fermentation process so it’s a fun, nutritious soda!
Kimchi is fermented cabbage which is also great for gastric intestinal health. It tastes pickled and is a tasty ingredient to add to sandwiches, salads, or just to eat by itself. If you’ve never tried Kimchi, do your gut and your tastebuds a flavor and try it. You’d be surprised at how amazingly different it is.
So if you’re looking for some new things to add to the weekly menu or just want to have some fun on Saturdays and Sundays, get out there and support your local vendors who are hand making wonderful good-for-you-foods and products.
Be bold and go beyond your comfort zone to try something new and nutritious. This is where progress, growth, and understanding shine through.