Support your local community

By
Real Estate Agent with Surterre Properties

 

It’s summertime, and that means plenty of barbeques, beach weekends, and the best your local farmers market has to offer!  Shopping at the farmers market is better for the environment, better for the local economy, and better for your wallet. Check out these tips, courtesy of MMPI.

 

Did you know that most conventional food travels an average of 1,500 miles before it reaches your plate?  That’s a lot of wasted energy for something you can find so much closer to home!  In fact, switching to buying even 10% of your produce from local sources will contribute 5-17 times less CO2 than those who buy non-local.

Once you eat fresh, recently harvested produce, you’ll realize the stuff from the supermarket (organic or not) is just not the same thing.  Here are some helpful hints for hitting the farmers market this summer:

1. Don’t forget your bags, baskets, and containers.  Invest in good reusables.  No one goes to market and forgets their bags!  A basket can also be very handy, especially during berry season.  There are no plastic clamshell containers at the market, so stacking is not an option unless you bring your own.  Take some of everything: produce bags, bread bags, and containers… they all come in handy!

2. Bring cash and plenty of small change.  It’ll be faster and easier for everyone.  Green Genius knows it can be awkward to pass a $50 dollar bill to a farmer selling you $3 worth of spinach!

3. Bring your family and friends.  It’s more fun to share the market with others.  Consider meeting at the market for a meal or drink.  It’s also a place to involve the whole family in food choices.

4. Do a full walk-through.  There are no returns.  Who has the best tomatoes?  Would you have preferred the peaches instead of the pears?  Walk the whole market first to see what’s available and compare prices and product.  Also, produce gets heavier as the day goes on.  Melons and squash should be your last purchases, so you don’t have to carry them around all day.

5. Go early and get first pickings.  You cannot imagine the excitement the regular market shoppers have for the season’s first strawberries, asparagus, ramps…  If you want to take part to the fullest, don’t sleep in.

6. Go late and get good deals.  If you are not picky, vendors will generally be happy to give you a discount and not have to haul anything back with them.  They worked hard enough to get it to market in the first place.

7. Ask questions.  You’ll get real answers.  If you want to know when something was picked, or how to best choose a particular item, just ask.  Feel free to ask what something is, or try things that you would not necessarily see at the store. Farmers know all about what they grow, and sometimes they will share great recipes too—that’s not happening at the supermarket!

8. Speak to other marketers.  Sociologists estimate that people who skip the supermarket in favor of farmers markets have about 10 times the number of conversations while shopping.  In addition to your farm-fresh zucchini, you just might pick up a new shopping buddy.

9. Don’t buy ingredients for a meal; make a meal based on the best ingredients you buy.  Don’t just go to the market to cross things off your grocery list.  Buy what’s best and in season, and try new things.  When you buy fresh and simple, the dishes you prepare can be also.  Green Genius loves making a “market meal”—a help-yourself-to-all-of-the-goodness-we-just-got-meal.  You can obviously make a list, but keep an open mind.  Take advantage of seasonal inspiration!

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GRI GREEN

 

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors

 

949-753-7900

 

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Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker Associate ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

Surterre Properties

Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 495-8600

 

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Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jim Hale 06/29/2010 02:17 AM
  2. Mark Brian 06/29/2010 09:14 AM
  3. Barbara Kornegay 06/29/2010 09:41 AM
  4. Lori Churchill Cofer 06/29/2010 10:08 AM
  5. Lori Cofer 06/29/2010 05:10 PM
  6. Jerri McCombs 06/29/2010 05:39 PM
Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
California Orange County Laguna Niguel
Groups:
Active Rain Foodaholics
Jokes and Anything Fun Group
Localism Brainstorming
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
Posts to Localism
Tags:
green
organic
healthy eating
farmers market

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Rainmaker
599,630
Nancy Conner
Managing Broker - City Realty Inc - Olympia, WA
Olympia/Thurston County WA

I love our Olympia farmer's market too & get there at least once a week to see what new produce has come in!  It is always so much fun to visit with the vendors - & I have learned a lot about choosing the right plants for my garden & then planting them properly.  Now I just wish it was open even more days - Thursday thru Sunday is great, but I always seem to want to head down there on Wednesday & then realize I have to wait a day - LOL!

Jun 29, 2010 11:01 AM #19
Rainmaker
183,173
Christa Ross
RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist - Pittsburgh, PA
Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes

I love my local farm market, it's not just that the food traveled less, it's also that it tastes so much better!

Jun 29, 2010 11:04 AM #20
Rainmaker
564,342
Scott Fogleman
Witt-Fogleman Team 434-941-8847 - Forest, VA
Witt-Fogleman, Inc. - Bedford, Lynchburg, and Roan

Great advice! We have a local Co-Op that sells memberships for $35 per year. You get a huge amount of food, all of it is fresh and organic....

Jun 29, 2010 11:07 AM #21
Anonymous
Anonymous
mart saliendra

Yes, let's support our community.. <a href="http://bit.ly/boes1c">carbohydrate diet low</a>

Jun 29, 2010 11:11 AM #22
Rainmaker
556,060
Cherise Selley
Selley Group Real Estate, LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realtor

Michael,

You're talking my language about the Farmer's Market...

Jun 29, 2010 11:53 AM #23
Rainmaker
472,866
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!

I've linked to your wonderful blog! Thanks for the great information. http://activerain.com/blogsview/1718554/green-a-little-dab-ll-do-ya-8-quick-tips

Jun 29, 2010 11:59 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,447,085
Rebecca Gaujot, Your Resource for
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

Michael, love the farmer's market here in Lewisuburg...especially the nice, ripe-red tomatoes.

Jun 29, 2010 12:00 PM #25
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Michael,

Good post, however I find that our local markets tend to be quite a bit more expensive.

Jun 29, 2010 12:15 PM #26
Rainer
172,089
Lisa Orme
The Master's Key Realty LLC -Windsor, CT - HARTFORD COUNTY - Windsor, CT
Broker/Realtor, ABR, CRS,GRI, PSCS, SFR, Notary Pu

Love the fresh fruits and veggies, and love supporting the locals, but I was astounded last week when I saw strawberries for $6.00 a pint! Ouch! Had to pass this by, even for local and fresh!

Jun 29, 2010 12:20 PM #27
Rainer
41,146
Erik Elsea
Erik Elsea-Jones & Co. Realty - Fort Myers, FL

Great post! We have a farmer's market blocks from my house. I love it!

Jun 29, 2010 12:42 PM #28
Rainer
23,506
Clay Lee
Century 21 Beal, Inc. - College Station, TX

Great thoughts on buying local and supporting your community!  We don't have a farmer's market in College Station (per se) but we do have a great Farm Fresh market I like to stop by. 

Jun 29, 2010 12:48 PM #29
Rainmaker
724,519
Sharon Paxson
HÔM Sotheby's International Realty, BRE License 01501912 - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - HOM Sotheby's Int'l Re

Michael - I love Farmer's Markets and in fact they are opening one in Newport next month. We are excited! congrats on the feature!

Jun 29, 2010 01:05 PM #30
Rainer
192,023
Stephanie Stringer
First Choice Loan Services NMLS#210764 - San Antonio, TX
Mortgage Loan Originator

Michael- This is such a great post.  In the town I live in we don't have a farmers market but when I see a truck pulled on the side of the road, I love to pull over and thump those watermelons!

Jun 29, 2010 02:02 PM #31
Rainmaker
747,685
Michael A. Caruso
Surterre Properties - Laguna Niguel, CA

To All:

Thank you for reading my post and leaving a message. I really appreciate it.  I strongly believe in supporting your local community and the Farmer's Markets.  Some of the produce or items may be a little more expensive, but the quality and taste is much better. I would rather spend a few extra coins to support a local market, and know that it is fresh, than to spend it in our large chain stores.  I do shop in the big chain stores, but a few times a month I like to venture out to the Farmer's Market and see what they have.  I have come across some cheeses, flowers and plants that I can't get anywhere else.  It's a fun day out and you get to sample some of the food!

Local faves are: Dana Point, San Clemente, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara & Goleta area.   

To Fernando:  Local breweries/micro breweries are great!  Haven't seen many at the Farmer's Market, but definitely at the fairs or at your local restaurant brewery.  Nothing like a cold one on a hot summer day....

Michael

Jun 29, 2010 03:19 PM #32
Rainmaker
205,758
Jerri McCombs
Advanced Virtual Assistant - Hendersonville, NC
Advanced Virtual Assistant

Thanks for the post. This is a great article.

Jun 29, 2010 05:34 PM #33
Rainer
45,069
Vicky Amaro
The Maranda Group at Koenig & Strey Real Living - Elmhurst, IL

Kudos to you for recognizing and writing about the importance of local community, I couldn't agree more! I visit our local farmer market every Wednesday! Thanks for the post...

Jun 29, 2010 05:37 PM #34
Rainmaker
105,433
Deborah Wilson
Cutler Real Estate - Canton, OH
Stark County OH Real Estate

I always plant tomatoes, herbs and cucumbers.  They are so fresh tasting and I feel so connected to the earth.

Jun 29, 2010 06:16 PM #35
Rainmaker
747,685
Michael A. Caruso
Surterre Properties - Laguna Niguel, CA

Jerri, Vicky, Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the post and also believe in supporting the local community. Have a wonderful week!

 

Deborah, Good for you! Nothing like tasting the fruits of your labor. Have a great week! 

Michael

Jun 29, 2010 07:09 PM #36
Rainmaker
131,791
Aaron Silverman
Bluewater Property Management, LLC and Lowcountry Turnkey Properties, LLC - Charleston, SC
Improving the Real Estate Experience through Educa

Very good tips about frequenting a local market. 

Aaron

Jun 30, 2010 11:58 PM #37
Rainmaker
747,685
Michael A. Caruso
Surterre Properties - Laguna Niguel, CA

Thanks Aaron. Have a great week!

Jul 06, 2010 05:31 PM #38
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