The air is warming, the weather is becoming milder, and blossoms are starting to bloom. Spring is near. I love this time of year as the earth reawakens and blossoms and grows. Renewal and waking up from a long sleep is starting all around us. Spring is a beautiful picture of hope.

One of the lovely things that spring brings to our area is local farmers markets. The closest market to our house is opening next week, which I am thrilled about! They can be lean during the spring, but there are many great reasons to go as early as possible! Here are three:

Get vegetable starts

If you garden but don’t grow from seeds, farmers markets are a great source for vegetable starts. I have been really happy with the ones I have bought there. Plus, sometimes there are stands selling high-quality gardening products. I got some fertilizer made from red worm compost once that was wonderful.

Buy wild greens

At this time of year, the very nutrient dense, cleansing greens such as wild nettles are often available at farmers market. They are not only highly nutritious but they are delicious when made into a nourishing broth or soup. These are the types of items not available at your typical grocery store!

It helps local farmers be successful

If we only support local farmers in the peak of their growing season, they won’t survive. By supporting them in the early (and late) parts of their growing season, you are not only ensuring their success, but also helping ensure that local food will be available to you for years to come.

If you don’t know where local farmer markets are in you area, check out this directory.

Related on MNN: 9 U.S. farmers market every foodie should visit

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