Farmers markets a wonderful sure sign of summer

This weekend residents of and visitors to Minot will once again be able to experience one of the sure signs of summer – a healthy, fresh one as well that to some people really sings the bell for the start of the best part of the summer.

The North Prairie Farmers Market launches this Saturday and will take place every Saturday through October (weather cooperating) at the Trinity Health parking lot at Broadway and 3rd Avenue SW, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For the uninitiated, Minot’s farmers markets provide a distinct opportunity to purchase produce and other goods from local and regional farmers, ranchers, canners, florists, etc. They offer a wide variety of seasonal goods with an array that can vary as the summer moves on and different items are harvested and brought to market. Often you will find the freshest possible versions of your favorite vegetables. Other times, though, you can find other items, such as uncommon herbs with which you weren’t previously familiar. Part of the fun is the variation from week to week and from vendor to vendor.

It isn’t just shopping from local farmers, ranchers and other vendors. In a world with so much corporate farming and with so many goods being imported, it is also a way to support the regional agriculture community, including many small and specialty farmers. Most people believe in supporting the local ag community and buying local – many nutritionists and researchers even assert it is much healthier for you.

Farmers markets are also festive, from the chatting opening bell shoppers and families that make an outing of it on pretty days, to the friendly vendors. Purveyors are helpful and warm, willing to discuss their products and their farms and help you find whatever you are looking for. Farmers markets are social occasions as much as they are commercial ones.

These quintessential occasions are a sure sign that summer is in full swing and the best rests ahead.