Who's Your Farmer? | Terms to Help You Navigate Your Local Farmers Market
Shopping at farmers markets is exciting. Sights, smells and sounds tantalize the senses…there is so much to take in! Shoppers are seen picking up their weekly CSA box, snagging a dozen newly laid eggs, selecting just picked produce and learning about the secret lives of bees from the local honey expert. With all the buzz, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with so many choices. Shoppers may find themselves wondering: What exactly is the difference between one tomato versus another? What decisions were made in growing my food? Where exactly did my food come from?
What puts farmers markets in a category of their own is that shoppers are in complete control. You are able to have a direct conversation with producers and no question is considered off limits. As a matter of fact, farmers love to talk about the food they grow!
So what questions should you ask?
Values surrounding food are as varied and diverse as this community. A good place to start is with what matters most to you. Are you seeking food grown as close to home as possible? Do you have a particular eating plan (gluten free, vegan, paleo) that guides your food choices? Are their food traditions that you are seeking to preserve? Is sustainability important to you?
Ask your farmer all about it!
In an effort to help farmers market patrons navigate this discussion, the Georgia Farmers Market Association has created a chart of some key terms used while shopping. Stop by the GFMA tent and grab one during your next visit to your local GFMA member market.
Growers, like Gwendolyn Washington who operates Phoenix Gardens with her husband Brennan, love to chat with shoppers who are interested in how they grow their crops. They work hard to grow food for Georgia families… including their own! She feels that by educating themselves on how food is produced, shoppers will be more likely to feel directly connected.
“When your food is traveling hundreds of miles across the country (and sometimes from other places around the world), you have no idea who grew it, how they grew or where it was grown. It’s a healthier experience when who know your farmer is,” Washington explained.