With Farmers Markets popping up or growing in communities across the nation, more and more Americans – and our visiting travelers – are looking to Farmers Markets to provide their family with fresh, cost effective and tasty produce.
I’d frankly never heard of Livability.com, but got a press release that the Farmers Markets in Ocala & Gainesville, Florida had both made their list of Top 11 Local Farmers Markets.
Taking a look, I discovered two things; first, that there is a good Farmers Market a decent car ride from our home in the Orlando area – yea for that – and two; that Livability.com is a great website.
First, the Farmers Markets
According to John Hood, spokesperson for Livability.com, “As our editors were putting this list together, we got down to 11 cities with amazing local farmers markets. We just couldn’t cut any of these farmers markets off the list–each deserves a spot. All these cities and farmers markets do a commendable job of providing fresh, local produce as well as educational outreach focusing on sustainability, recycling and waste reduction. Many also offer programs offering assistance for lower income families.”
Along with Ocala & Gainesville, Santa Fe, Kansas City, Chattanooga, Portland, Burlington, Boulder, Greensboro, Santa Cruz and Tucson are all on the list.
With a growing concern for our earth, a desire to feed our families food that’s not being recalled all the time, and seeking a healthier, happier way of life, American’s are turning to Farmers Markets.
Livability.com refers to ‘locavore” – “someone who already knows the importance and environmental impact of buying locally.” These folks aren’t just “green freaks,” but they’re every day people who know that saving our earth is as easy as shopping at Farmers Markets and reusing things. If more people did these simple things, we’d go a long way toward helping this planet we live on.
But we also help ourselves with fresher produce that has more the nutrients we need, taste better, are more often cheaper, and it’s just plain fun to do.
According to the Top 11 List, the Ocala Farmers Market, Farmer’s Circle Square Commons Market, “packs a lot of products into a small scene.” It goes on to say, “it still includes all the market staples and then some.” Offering up more than just the basics – veggies – shoppers can fund plants, baked goods and more.
The Gainesville Market is reported as, “Union Street Farmer’s Market aims to impress with its year-round offering of the freshest fruits and vegetables in the city.” Housed near the university, crowds range in age & kind, but all are here for the freshest possible produce. “As one of the larger farmers markets in the country, the Union Street market sells everything a shopper could hope to buy – from arts and crafts, to meat and milk, kept fresh in a refrigerated truck.” Sounds like we may need to take a road trip.
Livability.com – what in the world
I had the great pleasure of growing up with farming and farmers in my life. Northern Illinois is a rolling, green place, with Lake Geneva, Wisconsin just north for many memorable days. To this day, Wisconsin State Fair fills me with joy – and not having been able to get back in five years is like having a hole in your heart.
I’ve always had a not-so-secret dream of one day owning a little hobby farm; some place to maybe have a big garden, sit on the porch and watch the fire flies, walk the green grass and see trees in every direction. I doubt I’d have animals again – I got a Grand Champion one year in the 4-H fair for my goat, Brandy. I’ve thought of maybe alpacas, but know the work involved, so I’m leaning to the “just a nice place to live” kind of homestead.
We all have some kind of dream like that – verbalized or not. And every once in a while, we maybe even do some Internet searching for that log home, farm property, alpaca farming information or whatever the dream…
Well from just the little time I’ve been able to spend on Livability.com, they’re here to help you do just that.
According to their press materials, “Livability.com showcases America’s best places to live by providing an in-depth look at some of the most livable cities in North America. It’s also a valuable resource for the moving audience. Content includes original photography, compelling articles and includes moving tips and advice.”
That seems pretty right on to me. With topic headers such as ‘Outdoorsy Cities,’ ‘Green Cities,’ ‘Retirement Cities,’ and ‘College Towns’ it looks as though they’ve got something for just about every one in every age range.
On the front page, an interactive map lets you click on one of the little pins, popping up a city and why you can consider it “livable.” I clicked on what turned out to be – ironically for me – Savannah. Other pins pop up Bend, OR, Lincoln, NE, Flagstaff, AZ, and our very own St. Augustine, FL.
Looking for a Kid-Friendly city? How about South Burlington, Oak Ridge, or Bloomington. Outdoorsy cities include Eugene, Titusville and Traverse City. What about Surprising Food Cities? You’ll find those in Pueblo, Albuquerque, and Asheville.
The photo page includes such groups as Beat of Beaches, Best of Universities, Best of Foods and Best of Churches. Whatever you’re looking for, it appears the editors and collaborators on Livability.com have found it for you.
So next time you’re in Florida and wanting some fresh veggies, check out the Farmers Markets in Ocala & Gainesville. And the next time you find yourself dreaming of your forver-home, take a look at Livability.com.