There are many reasons to visit farmers markets

Marianne Binetti will appear from 11:15 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. Sunday, July 1, at the Auburn Farmers Market at Les Gove Park, 1140 Auburn Way S. Her free lecture, “Your Garden Problems Solved,” will detail common gardening problems and allow for question-and-answer time.

The fourth week of June brings a celebration of local farmers markets and, by the end of June, local peas, strawberries, lettuce, radishes, herbs and fresh-cut flowers are waiting to be enjoyed.

Speaking of local and fresh, here are five reasons to shop at farmers markets:

You help support a local grower.

We are losing our farmland at an astonishing rate and small-acreage farmers are the people who keep paradise from becoming a parking lot. Cut-flower growers in our state are blooming as younger entrepreneurs figure out that cut flowers make a beautiful cash crop.

You get the freshest food and flowers.

The sooner produce can go from ground to mouth, the more nutrients it will have. When it comes to cut flowers, there is no reason to fly in roses from South America or Israel when American-grown blooms last longer. The Slow Flower movement proves this.

You save fuel and the earth by buying local.

Produce put on planes and trucks and shipped from hundreds of miles away not only use more fossil fuels but also clog our stressed transportation system. When consumers chose to spend money on products that are made local, Mother Nature benefits.

You support local crafts people and artists.

Tired of seeing the same old thing in everyone’s home and closet? Farmers markets sell not just food and flowers but jewelry, clothing, handmade toys, artwork and more. You never know what you will find because local artisans create original works.

You will get to know your community neighbors.

Community farmers markets have become meeting places for neighbors as the routine of visiting every weekend and enjoying food and music brings people together in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Farmer’s markets are like free summer festivals – and sometimes they also sell plants! Look for hanging baskets, vegetable starts, even houseplants from local vendors.

• • •

Marianne Binetti has a degree in horticulture from Washington State University and is the author of “Easy Answers for Great Gardens” and several other books. For book requests or answers to gardening questions, write to her at: P.O. Box 872, Enumclaw, 98022. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a personal reply.

For more gardening information, she can be reached at her Web site, www.binettigarden.com.

Copyright for this column

owned by Marianne Binetti.

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