I wrote this for our local Weston Price Foundation group but decided to share it also on my blog. If you live in an area that has farmers markets, I encourage you to visit them. Not only are you providing your family with nourishing foods, but you’re helping a local farmer dig one foot deeper into providing your community with healthy, chemical free, produce, meats and dairy.
I wanted to share how frugal one can be when shopping at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market. We are so blessed to live in a metro that is small enough to feel safe yet is thriving with diversity. At the heart, we are a community that cares for one another and are eager to share and grow. We have an amazing farmers market, and I do encourage you to take advantage of our vendors that wake up so early every Saturday morning to provide us with nourishing produce, meats, and dairy that they labor for… you. Our farmers have pride in what they do and work so hard to educate us on the benefits of eating locally and chemical free. Many times, people question how I can wake up every Saturday morning and hit the farmers market at 7:30 – 8:00am. I understand many people work so hard during the week and find it difficult to get out of bed on a Saturday morning to go, well… grocery shopping. To me it’s so much more than going grocery shopping. I get excited to visit Mr. Yang at Yang’s Organics. He’s alway’s on the lookout for me, waves me in and show’s me all the great stuff he’s picked fresh that morning. He alway’s sends me off with a free goodie. Mrs. Yang alway’s nods and smiles, “yes..yes.. see you next week!” Matt and Patrick from Coyote Run Farm are alway’s happy and ask what new recipe I’ve used on their grass fed beef. “How was it?” “Did you like it, oh.. that’s great!” When I head back East, Jill from Blue Gate Farm is alway’s so happy. She’s so fun!! Alway’s bright and shiny and happy to chat about what’s been happening on the farm. And, It’s alway’s so fun stopping by Cory’s Lamb and seeing Mary’s boys so polite, so genuine and so proud to be standing by dad selling the most AMAZING lamb! By the way Tom and Mary’s garlic is seriously, amazing! Huge bulbs and the cloves are bursting with flavor. As you can see it becomes much more than just grocery shopping but more about community and really knowing your farmer. I feel so great about the food I buy. I always leave knowing my family will be nourished for the week. I’m attaching a picture to give you an idea of what I buy. This is what I bought last Saturday. Between this and my own gardens, we have tons of fresh produce. I’m currently in preserving mode, so it’s a great time to head out to the farmers market and buy in bulk. Talk to your farmers and they’ll work out deals for you!! You’ll be happy you did when when the winter hits us 🙂
2 bundles fresh cilantro – $2
1 huge bundle of sweet potato leaves – $1 at Yang’s Organic
Picket Fence Creamery Milk – $10 from Gateway Market
4 onion heads – $2 from Coyote Run Farm
Potatoes – $3 Yangs Organics
6 cukes – $2 from Yang’s Organics
Sweet Marconi Peppers – $2 Yang’s Organics
2 dozen eggs from Coyote Run Farm – $6.00
bundle of green beans – Free from Yang’s Organics
Total for ALL of that – $28.00
I wanted to share this to give you an idea of how much you can really save if you know how to shop right and which stands to hit. Yang’s Organic is located on 2nd Ave, South of Court. There are some other great Organic stands but I usually find myself in a route and sort of stick to it, lol! I feel so much like my Grandmother in Spain. She visits the Plaza’s weekly and also has vendor friends everywhere. Many times she has to avoid certain stands for lack of time, haha!
I also wanted to share that starting in the Spring Coyote Run Farm will have more grass fed beef to sell. They’ll be selling in quarters/halfs/whole. Matt told me that they will be selling it at the same price as their grain finished beef. He said a quarter should be around $400. Pretty great deal!!!
Remember, Know Farmers… Know Food!
When we lived in Madison, WI. I had frequent a Mong lady's stand every week. One day, she was so busy. I dropped my bags and started weighing out 1 lb of green beans for her. I would take the money and then hand it to her. I loved the interaction so much. I helped her every week for the rest of the summer. My favorite customer were the college kids. I felt like a Mom, I wasn't one at the time, telling them how to cook green beans. What fun memories! -Tien
5 Star Foodie says
Great deal on those products! We have a new local farmer stand just a few minutes from us, I need to check it out.
I love going to the farmer's market. You're right, you usually save money when buying produce from the farmers. And it lasts longer…because it's less time from farm to table, you can get enough to last for the week without it going bad…bonus!
Diana, Thank you for promoting local farms and farming. I agree with you wholeheartedly! we have our little garden, yet still depend on produce from larger local farms and nothing compares in terms of flavor, texture, and lack of chemicals! Thanks! ~ roz
Hummingbird Appetite says
I've gone to farmers' markets, but this year, I've gone a lot more. It's probably because I started a food blog. Sometimes I go to farmers' markets 3 times a week!
[email protected] says
Great post! I'm lucky to live in an area where there is a different Farmers' Market close by four to five times per week. I go to two of them every week, and visit the other ones when I have time. At each market I have "my farmers."
For me the key is stay focused and to shop with a list. I have a calendar that shows what's in season when, and I plan my meals before going to the market. That way I know what I need, and I don't end up buying "extra stuff." Some of the markets I go to also sell great olive oil, honey, etc. I try to stay away from these products on most visits. They are great products but quite expensive…
Again, great post and a great reminder to support local farmers – it's good for everyone! 🙂