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11 Great Reasons to Shop at a Humboldt Farmers' Market


Humboldt County is fortunate to have quite a few different Farmers' Markets to visit throughout the week. From Shelter Cove to McKinleyville and in many places in between, you can find festive markets that sell some of the freshest and most delicious produce in the county. Visitors can also find meats, cheeses, baked goods, jellies, honey and other tasty items as well as locally made arts, crafts and more. We love visiting Humboldt Markets and here are 11 reasons why we think you will enjoy it too.

 A Complete List --> Humboldt County Farmers' Markets

1. Fruits & Vegetables Stay Fresh Longer 

There are quite a few advantages to getting your produce at its freshest point and in many cases, the produce you'll find at a Humboldt County Farmers' Market was picked that same day; it just doesn't get much fresher than that. Even in California, where we have access to quite a variety of fruits and vegetables, food can spend days in storage and/or on a truck as it makes its way to the store. Add in the additional time it spends on store shelves before purchase and suddenly you're not getting the freshest goods possible.  

2. The Produce Tastes Better

Local Farmers generally harvest their goods at the peak of ripeness; when they are at the height of incredible taste, flavor, smell and texture. When you use fresh produce from your local Farmers' Market, you can literally taste the difference. Not only that but the aromas will be fuller, the texture close to perfect and your meal will plate beautifully. If you want to impress your friends, or even yourself, with your skills in the kitchen, using fresh produce is a great first step.

Let's go on a Picnic!

Humboldt County has over 50 parks! You can find details, directions, photos and more in our Humboldt County Parks section. 

3. It's More Nutritious 

As produce ages, it loses nutrients and antioxidants, the very things that make it so valuable. One way to gauge freshness is to look at the color of the produce, as brighter, fuller colors are a sign of healthier and fresher goods. And since many local farmers practice organic and non-gmo farming, you can also rest assured that the food you're eating doesn't have all the extra stuff you don't want.  

 4. You Have a Wider Variety to Choose From

One of the best things about a Farmers' Market is the variety of products you can find; even within the same food groups. National chains can only hold so many varieties so your choices as a buyer are also limited. At a Farmers' Market, not only do you have more choices in what is available, you can often choose who you buy it from. If you like to experiment with food, stop by a Farmers Market and let the creative juices start flowing.

 5. You Can Meet the Grower and Get to Know Your Food

There are a number of advantages in getting to talk to the source. If you have food allergies, want to improve your existing dishes, have questions about how the food is grown or other questions about the food you're buying, the person who can answer them all is standing right in front of you. From seed to market, you know who is responsible for the food you're putting in your body and that's a very comforting feeling.

Humboldt Food on Social 

@EatHumboldt on Instagram features local restaurants and more Humboldt-based food content. Their daily posts will make your mouth water.

The Humboldt Foodies Group on Facebook is all about Humboldt Food. Learn tips & tricks, discover new restaurants, share photos and more. Incredible food-related content with a positive vibe. 

6. Better For The Environment 

On average, food travels around 1,500 miles before hitting grocery store shelves and eventually your plate. These travels take more gas, create more pollution and use more plastics/packaging than the food you'll find at a Humboldt Market. In addition, commercial farms typically use more water, more chemicals, create more waste and practice less sustainable farming methods.  

 7. The Social Aspect Is Good For Your Health

Humans are social creatures and Farmers' Markets act as important social centers in the communities where they operate. Farmers' Markets are a wonderful place to meet with friends, bring the family, trade recipes or just chat while enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. Even on Humboldt's foggy and cold days, browsing the open-air booths is time well spent.  

8. There's More Than Just Fruits & Vegetables 

Farmers' Markets are so much more than just fruits and vegetables and that's a big part of their incredible charm. Visitors can also pick-up items like meats, cheeses, eggs, breads, jellies, honey and the list goes on. And on. And on. Farmers Markets have become a one-stop shop for many of the day-to-day items people use.  

9. Helps Support the Humboldt Economy 

More money stays in Humboldt County and local jobs get created when you buy directly from Humboldt Farmers. In fact, research shows that for every dollar spent at a Farmers' Market, as much as 68 cents stays in the local economy versus 43 cents for every dollar spent at a national chain (1). Much of that money is then spent back into community creating a multiplier effect. Not to mention, more local demand means more local jobs.  

When it's Time to Treat Yourself:

Our Eat & Drink Section has a comprehensive list of locally owned restaurants, cafes and breweries. Thai, BBQ, Seafood, Greek, Indian, Burgers ... Humboldt has it all! 

 10. Find Cool Shops

Farmers' Markets are usually located in areas that are surrounded by other local shops as well. Garberville (Town Square), Fortuna (Downtown) and Arcata (The Plaza) are just a few examples of where you can grab fresh goods at a Farmers' Markets and then explore nearby shops, cafes and restaurants.

 11. Arts & Crafts

Humboldt County has some pretty talented people and many are represented at Farmers' Markets. Clothes, art, jewelry and candles are just some of the cool items you can find and many local creators are more than willing to take on a custom job so you get exactly what you want. It's another great way to keep more money behind the Redwood Curtain.

Written by Colby K. for

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