Farmers Market season is about to start back up! That means tons of fresh, local produce and goods will be right at our fingertips for the summer. We had a chance to sit down with Mary Self, the new owner of the 12 South Farmers Market to chat about why we should shop at a farmers market and, of course, what makes the 12 South market so great.
So, why shop at a farmers market and not just your regular grocery store? Mary has a few reasons:
- Fresh food tastes better. When you buy food at the grocery store, it takes time to pick it, pack it, and then ship it to the store. When you shop a farmers market, a lot of times that produce was picked just that morning and carried straight to the market.
- It’s more nutritious. The longer it has been since the food was harvested, the more nutrition it loses. Meaning, all that time your produce spends on a truck being carried across the state or country, it is slowly losing vitamins and nutrients.
- You’re supporting the local economy. We all love to shop local! When you buy at a farmers market, you are buying directly from the local farmers and artisans.
- It’s cost efficient. Many times the produce you buy at the farmers market is cheaper than the grocery since you are buying directly from the farmer. The farmer or local artisan doesn’t have to mark up the price to cover shipping costs or sharing profits with the store.
Mary may be a little partial to the 12 South Farmers Market- ok, we may be a little partial, too. Here are the top reasons to shop the 12 South Market:
- It’s a family-friendly environment. Since the market is held at the park, it has fun for the kids built right in. The kids can play before or after the parents shop. You can also make it a family night and have a picnic dinner at one of the visiting food trucks on market day.
- There’s fun and educational programs for the family. Starting May 12, there will be weekly story times at the market. There will also be a veggie of the week with a worksheet and recipes about that veggie included in the weekly newsletter (make sure to sign up!).
- It is a community run market. All of the sponsors, vendors, and volunteers come from the local community. There are no hired employees for the market.
- ALL of the farmers are sustainable and many are organic. You may not see the “organic certification” because of the cost, but many use organic practices in their farming.
- They feature local musicians. Each week, there will be live music at the market.
- There are 13 exclusive vendors to Davidson County. You won’t find these vendors anywhere else in Davidson County, so you’ll have to visit the 12 South market!
- Part of the Double Snap program. The program is an incentive for SNAP users to shop at the farmers market and gives them more purchasing power. Only 5 markets in Nashville have this available.
- Monthly giveaways! When you use the swipe machine (to get market tokens), you are automatically entered in a month drawing. The prizes are from the market vendors and most prizes are $40-60 in value.
- They host 5 special events each season. Every season there are 5 different events at the market, starting with the Grand Opening Fiesta THIS WEEK (May 5)!
Thanks, Mary for your time! We can’t wait to check out the 12 South Farmers Market. It’s open Tuesdays, May-October, from 3:30-6:30.
If you’re looking for more farmers market options, make sure to check out our list!