Why I shop at farmer's markets [+ find one near you!]

I love shopping at farmer's markets and today I'm going to share with you WHY {it may not be why you think} and HOW you can do this too, no matter where you live or what budget you have.

I didn't always like going to farmer's markets (or shopping at Whole Foods for that matter). I thought they were overpriced, I thought that "organic" and "local" were just code for more expensive, less pretty produce. I also didn't like many vegetables. What?? Yup, this health coach wasn't always a fan of greens, zucchini and asparagus.

So what changed that? How did I go from someone who pushed peas around on my plate to the girl who happily gobbled them up and asked for more?

I re-connected with my food, and found delicious seasonal produce. I now buy local and in-season food as much as I can because frankly it just tastes better.

Yes, I love supporting small businesses and the environment, but when it comes down to it, the greens and tomatoes and strawberries that I buy from my local vendors taste soooooooo much better than pretty much anything you can get in the store. Plus, fresher food has more nutrients, which means more energy for your {and more bang for your grocery store buck!}.

I can hear you already "But Emily, I don't have a farmer's market near me" or "I can't afford local produce" - don't worry, I've got some awesome resources for you to find local produce, wherever you are and whatever your budget.

Here are some tools to help you start eating more fresh, seasonal food:

- Find a Farmer's Market - More and more farmer's markets are popping up all over the country. Click here to find one near you.
- Find a CSA - When you join a CSA [Community Supported Agriculture] you pay a membership fee upfront, and then you get fresh produce from a farm throughout the season. This is often way more affordable than shopping at a farmer's market (some are just $20-25 per week). Find a CSA near you.
- Online Farmer's Markets - No time to check out a farmer's market or not ready to invest in a CSA? Like pretty much everything else this industry is moving online! Here are a few options for ordering produce online (these either strictly do local or you have an option to select local products): Farmigo, Local Dirt, Farmbox Direct, Relay Foods, and Backyard Produce.
- Know what's in season - No farmer's markets near you or not able to invest in a CSA? You can still eat more fresh, local food simply by knowing what's in season in your area each time of year and choosing that produce at your grocery store. Head over here to find out what's in season in your area at every time of year. 

Now let's get shopping! I'm not telling you that you have to buy all your food from a local source {hey, I still shop at Trader Joe's a lot!}, but especially as we move into the warmer months I challenge you to at least visit a farmer's market or one of these other online options. Who knows, you may just get hooked on the fresh flavors like I did.

Happy exploring!