Kent Farmers' Markets

Why buying local is good for you and the economy

Kent Farmers’ Markets

We’ve all done it. On the night of 31 December, many of us have morphed into a Bridget Jones (or in my case Brad Jones) promising ourselves that from tomorrow we’ll eat more healthily, lose weight, stop drinking and take more we polish off the Christmas tin of chocolates and drain the last glass of New Year’s Eve fizz (Chapel Down, of course).

Looking at many of the New Year’s resolution surveys shows we all long for similar things, with the desire to lose weight and take more exercise – or even start exercising – somewhere near the top of most people’s lists. 

However, in a national survey in 2009, we turned more ethical and a commitment to recycle and become greener came third on our list of priorities; while in 2010, tough economic times made the determination to enjoy life more even more important than the perennial losing weight.

Looking at these findings, it occurs to us at Kent Farmers’ Market Association how a visit to a Farmers’ Market could be a much more enjoyable place to start fulfilling some of these common New Year’s Resolutions. So here’s our list.

Lose weight 

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One of the best ways to achieve lasting weight loss is to eat a balanced diet all the time, rather than embarking on another crash-dieting fad. At your local Farmers’ Market you will find one of the freshest and widest selections of locally grown, seasonal fruit and vegetables. Many markets also offer a great range of fresh fish, which is a healthy, low-fat source of protein.

Spend wisely

Farmers’ Markets offer a unique opportunity for shoppers to buy keenly priced produce, direct from the producer or grower. Small doesn’t mean expensive, and because Farmers’ Markets cut out the middle man, you buy direct and get the best value for money.

Become greener

Shopping at your local Farmers’ Market ensures you support local farmers who care about the environment we share. You’ll also be investing in your local community and producers from the surrounding area. Every �10 spent with a Farmers’ Market is worth �25 to the local economy, compared with just �14 for every �10 spent in a supermarket. Most markets run a regular cake and refreshments stall in aid of local charities, too.

Reduce stress

Often bringing new life to village halls, beautiful village greens or historic houses and churches, what could be more relaxing than wandering around a Farmers’ Market, and avoiding the risk of trolley rage in a packed supermarket?

Spend more time with family and friends

Farmers’ Markets are great social occasions; a regular opportunity to bump into friends. Many stage themed markets for all the family, from Easter and Christmas, to Apple Day and Halloween, so the children can have fun too.

Drink less

Farmers’ Markets offer a fantastic selection of Kentish-produced non-alcoholic drinks, such as juices from a range of apple varieties, to kick start a spell of non-drinking. And if, like me, you are more realistically aiming to cut down rather than cut out, many markets have a great choice of locally brewed beers and ciders and wine produced from Kent’s growing number of vineyards.

Learn something new

Every time you visit a Farmers’ Market there is a unique opportunity to learn something new by chatting to the friendly stallholders. Whether it’s artisan bread or cheese making you’re interested in, or you want to know what makes rare breed meat more tasty, there’s plenty to learn by chatting to each of the suppliers you buy from.

Get fit/start exercising

While Kent’s Farmers’ Markets themselves can’t promise you fitness, with more than 40 markets there’s one near you (visit the Kent Farmers’ Market website). So why not take a brisk walk or a bike ride to market and leave the car at home, or pick a market in the countryside and combine it with a local walk?

Enjoy life more

If you want to ‘enjoy life more’ then a Farmers’ Market is a great place to get back to the Good Life. The markets give you a unique opportunity to see, feel, touch and taste the wholesome and high quality food. Then there’s strolling around with family and friends, the socialising and the chance to enjoy many of the special events – whether it’s bobbing apples, pumpkin carving or carol singing.

Even find true love!

With all this socialising, and a shared interest in food, some people might find a new romance. And if not, we are sure you’ll fall in love with the whole experience of shopping at your local Farmers’ Market!

To contact the Kent Farmers’ Market Association:

01892 870666

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