I recently read that there are over 8,000 farmers markets in the United States each summer and that this number is growing rapidly. Chances are, there is a farmers market somewhere near where you live. I certainly understand their popularity, as going to a local farmers’ market to shop for our produce is always a fun experience. It seems to me there are at least three reasons that these markets are so popular.

The first reason is community. Farmers markets are communal by nature. They bring together producers of various kinds (vegetable farmers, growers of flowers, organic meat producers, bakers, local artisans, musicians, and more) and at the same time they bring together the community. Part of the fun of going to a farmers market is running into neighbors and friends. Since the beginning of time, food has brought people together and community is shared and nurtured.

I think another reason these markets are so popular is because, as the saying goes, “They are keeping it real.” The produce offered at farmers markets is almost always free of pesticides and other chemicals. In a world where much is artificial and “new and improved,” there is something wonderful about eating and buying food that is produced the same way it has been for hundreds of years ago.

The final reason (although I know there are many more than the three I am listing here) that I love farmers markets is because they directly connect me with the source of the food I am eating. When I buy my produce from the grocery store I don’t have that same direct connection to the farmer and the land where the food comes from.

Spirituality is central to my life and so I do many things to practice and nurture my spiritual wellness. It occurs to me as I write about what I love about farmers markets, that I am describing what, for me, are three cornerstones of spirituality: community, “keeping it real,” and connecting with the source from which all life comes. It’s no wonder I love farmers markets so much!  If you haven’t visited one yet, you still have time to support your local farmer, and your own well-being at the same time.

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