This article appears on page 2 (!!) of the May 2015 issue of Parent News.
Spring is most definitely in the air and so is the pollen! We’re using a pretty solid amount of Claritin in this house, but it’s worth it. I’m thrilled to announce that our area’s farmers markets are back in business!
I don’t know a mom who doesn’t like picking out amazing, fresh produce from local farmers, but the benefit at shopping at them goes beyond yummy fruit and veggies. When I bring my children with me, they’re enticed by the colors. Suddenly they’re running their hands over purple eggplants and asking how they taste.
Often vendors have samples. I love when the kids talk to them and they share their favorite recipes, or how their mama used to cook them. The kids eat that up as good as they go home and eat what we bought!
The other thing I love about the farmers markets are the local products. We’ve gotten honey, which is so delicious, but may also help soothe seasonal allergies. We’ve also loaded up baked goods, artisan cheeses, jellies, teas, and flowers.
As more markets get added to the area, you can find one almost any day of the week. Our family’s tradition is a stroll down Deville Street in the Market Common. We start at Starbucks. Yes, I realize it hardly supports our local economy but cut me a small amount of slack on that since I’m about to tell you how important local farmers are to me. I know it’s wrong that my children have a “usual” at Starbucks and have for the past five years or more. Don’t judge me too harshly.
With drinks in hand, we browse what everyone brought to sell that morning. Sometimes one batch of strawberries looks better than another. Other times someone has a large amount of a fruit or vegetable and has unbelievable prices. You’ve got to take your time and really look.
I like to ask where each farm is located. I, generally, feel like the closer the better. Sometimes it’s the only choice, but who wants strawberries grown in California or grapes from South America you’ll find in the grocery store? Not me. So much energy is wasted in getting them from point A to point B.
Every now and then a vendor will attempt to sell imported produce at the farmer’s markets. A friend once saw a pineapple and was assured it was grown locally. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not aware of any pineapple farms in the area. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy the pineapple, just know it isn’t South Carolina grown.
We fill our bags with goodies for the week. I’m secretly amused watching my husband carry a giant watermelon to the car – especially if he’s still trying to manage his cup of coffee.
When we get home, the kids are diving into something and making plans for something else. This whole thing brings me joy. I love supporting local farmers and businesses. I thoroughly enjoy the process of browsing and picking. And knowing my whole family is getting the best produce and products out there is incredible.
Enjoy all spring has to offer, my friends! Not much longer until we’re soaking up the summer sunshine!
Want to read more? Check out the latest on the Myrtle Beach for Families blog.