It’s almost here! It’s almost here! Opening day of my local farmers market is just 5 days away! I’m so excited. Rhubarb. Spinach. Starter plants. Cider donuts. Farm fresh eggs. Cheese. Flowers. Wildflower honey. I’m making my list already.

Attending the opening day at the Collingswood Farmers Market is an annual ritual for me. I let the family sleep and I go by myself, but it’s not lonely. I’m surrounded by similar-minded sustainable food lovers, and I run into many people that I know.

I can think of a dozens of reasons why everyone should head out to their local farmers market weekly, but on opening day, there are a few particularly important ones.

  1. Your purchases help infuse the farmers and other local food producers with some much needed cash. The market season is when many local food producers bring in some extra money. Many of them have a pretty lean cash flow in winter. The money they take home after the first farmers market is particularly welcome.
  2. You’ll connect with your community. Spring brings several opportunities to connect with others in your community after being cooped up all winter. If you have kids, spring sports are one of those opportunities. The farmers market is another opportunity. Like I mentioned above, I run into people all the time at the market – many of them I only see when I’m there unless I make a conscious effort to get together with them.
  3. You’ll want to plant something – even if it’s just an herb in a pot. The first week of the farmers market usually has the biggest variety and best prices of starter plants. I’m always amazed by the great prices on organic starters I can get at the farmers market, but the plants go fast. Get there early on the first day for the best selection.
  4. You will make something awesome for dinner that night. The site of produce varieties you haven’t seen in months, fresh, humanely raised meats and perhaps even a bottle of local wine will inspire you to create a spring feast for friends and family.
  5. It’s been a long, long, cold, snowy winter for many of us. The opening of seasonal farmers markets mean that spring has really arrived. You deserve to spend an hour so among the colors of the produce and flowers, the smells wafting from the healthy prepared food vendors, and the energy of people reawakening from hibernation, particularly after the winter we just experienced.
Do you make it a point to go to your local seasonal farmers market on opening day? Why?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

5 reasons to attend your local farmers market opening day
There are dozens of reasons to go the farmers market, but opening day, these five are particularly important.