Imagine the sound of sizzling steaks and burgers on the grill or the smell of fresh flowers in the dining room. By participating as a buyer at a local farmers market, these emotions and senses can be evoked in your own home this summer.
Farmers markets are an assembly of local producers, agriculturists, and artists gathered to sell food and products directly to consumers. A farmers market is used to facilitate personal connections and bonds between farmers, shoppers, and communities.
Benefits of Shopping Local
Put meaning behind the “farm to table” movement when you shop at local markets for your produce. There are lots of advantages to purchasing and supporting local vendors.
Beneficial to the local economy
Spending money at farmers markets keeps your money in circulation within the local community, preserving and creating local jobs. In 2017, American farmers received less than 20 cents on every dollar American’s spent on food. At farmers markets, they profit nearly 90 cents on the dollar.
Guaranteed local products
More than 85% of farmers market vendors travel fewer than 50 miles to sell at a farmers market. Some markets even require that all produce comes from within a specified mileage limit.
Even though most grocery stores carry a limited supply of local and/or organic products, they cannot begin to compare with the quality that a local homegrown farmer can, let alone the guarantee of a fair price.
Tastes better and is more nutritious
Similar to exceptional quality, nothing compares to the taste of fresh produce and homegrown, grass-fed, non-GMO and/organic food. Vivid colors in fruits and vegetables are a reflection of the nutrients they contain. When was the last time you saw a bright red tomato at the supermarket?
Fun experience for all
Shopping at a farmers market is a wholly unique experience where farmers and shoppers get to know each other, do business, and help one another. Stroll through the different booths and enjoy the sun and cool breeze on a warm summer’s day. Meeting friends and neighbors at the farmers market while shopping and supporting local businesses is a great activity on the weekend.
A major thing to take note of is that farmers markets may not have access to debit or credit card payments. It varies from vendor to vendor and in today’s society card readers like Square are becoming more common, but there is a chance that not everyone will be able to accept cards, so grab some cash before you head over to the market!
You might also want to bring along reusable canvas bags from home because most vendors won’t have a shopping bag for you. If you have young kids, pull them around in a little red wagon as you browse the selection of goods and use the wagon as a cart.
What to Expect
Each farmers market across the Black Hills offers something unique, but wherever you go, you can typically find the following produce and products across the board. Throughout all seasons, you can browse a wide variety of agricultural and artisan goods. From jams, jellies, syrups, and salsas to selections of baked goods, meats, dairy and even personal care products and arts and crafts, there is something for everyone in a year round market.
Monthly selections will vary based on what grows in your area. Here in the Black Hills, you can generally expect the following each month:
Lettuce, spinach, greens, microgreens, asparagus, mushrooms, rhubarb, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, live plants, and cut flowers.
Kohlrabi, strawberries, lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, garlic scapes, microgreens, asparagus, radishes, mushrooms, rhubarb, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, green onions, chives, live plants, and cut flowers.
Note: Due to COVID-19, the Black Hills Farmers Market has an online store with curbside pickup. This is a new, permanent feature. Please order Tuesday thru Thursday and check your emails for confirmation and pickup times. You can also shop during the winter months (Nov-Apr) at Western Dakota Tech, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Spearfish Farmers Market
Saturdays | June-October 9 a.m. to noon
Brady Park, 200-889 N Meier Ave., Spearfish (at the corner of Grant St. and Meier Ave.)
Contact: 605-645-9283 | No indoor market this season
Community Farmers Market
Thursdays | June-October 4-6 p.m.
The Historic Roosevelt Event Center Grounds 1010 State St., Belle Fourche