There are over six thousand farmers markets in the United States according to the U.S.D.A Agriculture Marketing Service.
About once a month, we head out to the Farmers Market in Vista, CA. We love the variety and the focus on food and produce. It’s located in a huge lot in front of the County Courthouse.
Along with all the amazing fruits and vegetables, we find sprouts by the pound, worm castings by the bag and plants like lemongrass and Brandywine heirloom tomatoes that have grown beautifully in our backyard.
If you’re hungry, be sure to order a Sunrise Crepe or pick up a luscious almond croissant. You never know what you’ll find but you’ll always leave satisfied if you take home what looks good on that particular weekend.
Our kids look forward to the market. Visually, it beats any psychadelic computer program out there and the experience can only help our family live healthier.
5 Ways To Enjoy the Farmers Market with Your Kids
- EXPLORE AND EXPERIMENT. Notice the way colorful vegetables and fruits are stacked up and displayed – inspiration for artists! Have fun asking how to eat and prepare something new. Let your kids find foods that appeal to them visually. Think about the entire lifecycle of what you buy. Leftover beet scraps can be used to make beet prints and ink!
- COUNT UP SOME FUN. Help children understand how to handle and count money. We give our girls a few dollars and the responsibility to select what they can afford. Monitor the transaction to ensure it’s a success.
- TEACH kids about choosing the freshest fare. The experience is different from the supermarket. There won’t be as much wilted or bruised produce. Another big difference is that you have your own friendly farmer literally standing behind every item to answer questions and provide information.
- INTRODUCE your children to concepts such as whole foods and pesticides. Point out vendors that grow organically. Ask farmers if they use any chemicals on their crops. Discuss how locally grown food helps save gas, supports our neighbors and improves nutrition, quality and taste. Tap into the entrepreneurial spirit showcased at the market.
- ENJOY the experience with your kids. The colors, smells and variety inspire us to cherish the simple things and to appreciate what farmers do to help us enjoy healthy food. If there’s live music, grab a snack and take in the celebration of growing beautiful things – including memories and lifelong healthy habits.
Search out a market near you. Check out this online tool that makes it easy to find a Farmers Market. We found that within a 20 mile radius of where we live there were 14 Farmers Markets – and we’ve only visited two!