1. Support for local farmers: small farmers really are suffering these days. I read somewhere that a huge percentage (like 80%) of our food is grown by big corporations, and the little guys are getting pushed out. Some of these people have been on their farms for generations. Supporting the local economy really helps cut down on the massive transportation and packaging energy costs of big corporations.
2. Cost: usually the produce and homemade goodies found at farmers markets cost way less than at a conventional grocery store. The reason most likely is because large companies have to pay a lot for shipping and transportation, plus there are middlemen involved (ex. Kroger has to buy the oranges from a company in Florida and still has to make a profit).
3. Health: a lot of the produce sold by local farmers are grown organically, without any pesticides. According to WebMD, these foods should be bought organic as often as possible, since they usually have the highest level of pesticides:
Organic items worth buying as often as possible: Apples, baby food, bell peppers, celery, cherries, dairy, eggs, imported grapes, meat, nectarines, peaches, pears, poultry, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, and strawberries.
4. Taste: I find that locally grown produce tastes so much better and fresher. I mean, it probably was just in the ground a day or two ago, right? Conventionally grown produce has to be packed, transported, stored, etc., before it makes it to your kitchen. Plus, sometimes chemicals are added to delay the ripening, or the fruit is covered in waxy layer. At a farmers market, the produce may not be standard size and shape, but the taste is much sharper and fresher.
This image is from Active Rain.
What are your favorite finds at your nearby farmers market?