Farmers Markets and Why You Should Go

Springtime means a lot of things – one of them being fresh produce and flowers, from the local Farmers Markets. A great thing about Pittsburgh is there are so many opportunities to still buy local.

Between the pop-up farmer’s in Market Square to each roadside and open market shops throughout the surrounding counties, if you don’t already have your calendar marked for the best days to shop at the Farmer’s Market, here are eight reasons you may want to consider adding this into your grocery shopping routine.

  1. You’re Supporting Your Community – buying local helps the economy and businesses that have been around for generations, especially in our region.
  2. Your Family Can Try New Things – I am a very visual person. When I’m perusing a Farmer’s Market I am always drawn to the vibrant colors and how great the food looks. I am more likely to buy a vegetable or fruit that we don’t normally cook with here, then find a recipe to try it with! This is also a great opportunity for our kiddos to try something new.
  3. You Can Ask Questions – More often than not, whoever you’re handing your money to in exchange for your items, is the person who can tell you the facts about your food. Where was it grown? When was it harvested? When is the best time to eat/cook it? And if it was brought in, what farm did it come from?
  4. Nutrition. Nutrition. Nutrition. Buying from local farmers means you’re bringing home food that is seasonal and local, which also means you’re giving your family food that is at the peak of its nutritional value.
  5. You Can Save (Time & Money) – Local fare is seasonal and plentiful (see point 4 above) so farmers spend less money transporting to their buyers, allowing their prices to be competitive and definitely less than the grocery store. Additionally, with fresh produce, it’s easy to bag and freeze (for later in the summer or fall for soup) or if you’re into canning – this is a great place to grab the best ingredients to supplement what’s not in your backyard garden.
  6. Buying Organic – Again, seasonal produce sold at Farmer’s Markets do not require chemicals because they’re growing in their normal growth cycle. Plus, organic produce in the grocery store costs an arm and a leg – not the case when you’re buying directly from the grower. Also, there are plenty of gluten-free options and if your location has eggs and poultry, you’re also purchasing free-range.
  7. It can get the kids involved! Let them pick their snacks for the week or have them talk to the sellers and tell them what they like, letting the vendors suggesting what to try or what’s got the best flavor that week. Let your children bring a bag or have them pick out a bucket they’d like to carry around and put their picks in. They’ll love helping.
  8. It’s fun! While you may begin going to purchase produce and flowers, most markets now also feature other local shops. From jewelry to craftsmen, brewers to food trucks a trip to the Farmer’s Market can be a fun experience for the entire family!

Do you have other tips for why families should consider shopping at Farmer’s Markets? Or how about your local markets to shop at? We’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts below.

Also, check out Pittsburgh Mom’s Blog’s Guide to Local Farmer’s Markets.


Farmer's Market Locations in Pittsburgh

Previous articleKeeping up with the Mommas
Next articleMotherhood Marathon
Katie Stern
Katie is a wife and mom of 3 boys, Lucas, Zeke and Toby. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with a degree in Marketing & Communications. Katie has worked in the construction industry for the past 12 years, building and restructuring brands and marketing departments, for companies in the Baltimore and Washington DC market, before returning to Pittsburgh and starting a family. Their second son, Toby, was born May 27, 2016 and died suddenly in August from SIDS, at 12 weeks and 5 days old. Katie and her husband, Dan, made a promise to Toby that they would work to do good in his name and never let the story of his life be forgotten. Through this loss, they have founded The Little Fox | Toby’s Foundation with the hopes of bringing joy, laughter, and lots of smiles to families within the Pittsburgh community, while working to spread awareness about child-loss and the lives of grieving parents. This is not the path they would have chosen for their lives, but it is the journey they are now on and will strive to be the best parents they can be, to one child on earth and one in Heaven. Katie is currently the Director of Marketing for A. Martini & Co., and General Contracting and Construction Management Firm. She has been heavily involved with juvenile diabetes research, because she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 2. Currently, Katie sits on the Executive Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association, Pittsburgh Chapter and is part of the planning committee for Step Out: Pittsburgh each year. Their family moved to Monroeville, one week after Toby was born, and have enjoyed getting to know that area of Pittsburgh and what it has to offer. While in the throes of motherhood, Katie is also active throughout the week with exercise routines, Paw Patrol and PJ Masks episodes, blogging at Our Happy Place & Co., a lifestyle blog she started in 2013, and working with her husband on the mission of The Little Fox.