Not that long ago I was out shopping with my mom when on a whim I started flipping products over to see where they were made. I was pleasantly surprised to see many of the things in one particular store were all Made in America. For that reason I decided to pick up a few practical odds and ends. When I got home I started looking for the Made in America stamp on things I already own but I wasn’t striking the gold.
This got me thinking about the things I purchase on a regular basis. Where do I make these purchases, and who am I actually paying? While it’s not practical for me to get rid of all the products I already own and re-purchase only what is Made in America, I can be more conscious of what I am buying in the future. The first, and maybe easiest way, is with the food I put on the table.
Without getting political, there are so many benefits to shopping locally for our food. It’s how the European’s do it! Most of my family (mom’s side is all in Italy) go to the market every single day! And they buy only what they need. Grant it, daily trips to the market don’t suit my life style but I can certainly go weekly to a local farmers market or produce stand.
— Food is freshest and (produce) is harvested at it’s peak.
— Build the community by getting to know the farmers and vendors responsible for local food.
— It’s an investment in the future and our children’s future.
This past Saturday Alex and I ventured to the Winter Park Farmers Market. I’ve been to a variety of farmers markets but this one is my favorite. I mean, we did have to drive an hour to get there, but it’s so worth it!
To me there is nothing better than waking up on a crisp Saturday morning and heading to the local farmers market. Grabbing a small handcrafted coffee and a tasty breakfast treat is priority upon arrival.
With my reusable canvas bags in hand, I carefully make my rounds, making sure to stop at every vendor. Stands with samples first, then breads and cheeses, and finally the produce and other extra items. I swear, I could spend hours just taking it all in and chatting up the vendors.
We spent over an hour and about $50 on all our goodies. $50 well spent, and aside from meats we are set for the week. I should add that the strawberries were so ripe and perfect that I didn’t wait until we got home to dig in!
Here are a few of our favorite vendors, or at least the ones I got vendor information on.
Sunchowder’s Emporia – fresh jams, butters and more!
Davis Bakery and Café – Best breakfast bagels!
Winter Park Honey – Fresh and natural. Love.
Winter Park Dairy – Alex’s favorite!
Mannix Vanilla – Perfect for the family baker.
Olde Hearth Bread Co – One of my favorites!
Emma’s Sweets – Mm, chocolate!
Do you have a farmers market that you love? In what way do you shop local?