So, you live in a dorm room with no real kitchen beside the communal one downstairs that contains a strange smell emitting from the fridge. Why go to a farmers market? I can’t get any meat or veggies because I have nowhere to cook it. But see, the fresh food isn’t the only thing farmers markets provide, my friends. There’s so, so much more.
1. First, there is pre-made food
There are more than just groceries to take home. Trust me — they have plenty of things to eat while you’re walking around or to take home.
A. Bread/Baked Goods
They have muffins, banana breads, zucchini breads, jam-stuffed baguettes, a whole loaf if you’re feeling it, etc. And if you go in the morning, farmers markets are a perfect place to get breakfast.
B. Food Trucks
There are always at least four food trucks that will come because they know that there will be a lot of hungry people. After walking around, looking at all the fresh foods and dreaming about the meals you could make, you can stop by the food trucks to see if they have anything yummy to appease your tummy (odds are, they will).
C. Jams, Honey, and Sauces
You may not be able to cook those meats and veggies, but you sure can buy some delicious food additions to amp up your cafeteria food. Many venders not only grow their own produce, but they also use it to make fresh berry jams and sauces. You can be sure that what is sold at a farmers market is fresh and organic because they made it themselves.
There are also a couple vendors that always sell local honey, which means it’s a great allergy suppressor because it will be made from the pollen around you.
D. Bluff City Coffee
Bluff City Coffee is a proud supporter of the Memphis Farmers Market and always have a booth on Saturday morning. They’ll have hot coffee to get your juices flowing early in the morning and their own array of baked goods, which includes their strawberry and blueberry-stuffed muffins and their mini cinnamon money bread with a chocolate ganache center. So, like, maybe stop there first.
2. The Accessories
Edible products are not the only thing sold at farmers markets. There are local art vendors who come selling their pottery, woodwork, and wind chime decor.
There are also, without a doubt, people selling beautiful flowers. Always, always get flowers when you go to a farmers market because they are always fresh and always beautiful. And if you don’t have anywhere to put them in your room, give them to a friend or anyone to make their day. Some flowers are even edible (if you’re brave enough to try that out). Regardless, purchasing flowers is never a wrong decision.
The downtown farmers market always has an adoption tent. So, basically, game over because yes, there are cute dogs who just want to be loved, but even better, there are cute puppies that just want to be loved. Really, if nothing else, you can go to the farmers market and get several hours of puppy loving that you can’t get on campus.
4. The vibes, man
Farmers markets are just, simply put, fun. Truly, everyone there is in a good mood and happy to see you and to have the opportunity to share their story. And a lot of the time, people’s stories are pretty cool, so chat people up. Plus, everyone there obviously likes food, so you’re all there under a common circumstance. There is always a band playing, too, which helps add some background noise that you’ll probably end up humming to as you walk around.
5. Go local!
The most important part about farmers markets is that they are local! These people are your neighbors; they live in your city, or right outside it, and they’re really great. Shopping local and eating local supports the economic market that you live in and benefits the whole city, not to mention local food is gonna be a whole lot fresher than the nearest Whole Foods.
Buying from local businesses is also better for the environment because there is less pollution emitted when transporting the food; it doesn’t have to travel as far. So, buying local does everyone a favor.
As you can see, farmers markets have a lot going on. There’s a lot you can get from taking a Saturday morning trip downtown and walking around, so rise and shine, boys!