Monday, August 19, 2013

A Farmers Market and a Timeshare Kitchen - a Perfect Match

On your summer timeshare vacation be sure to check out the local Farmers Markets.

Open air markets where the farmers and simple gardeners bring their goods to the public have been well-known around the globe for centuries. Prior to the industrialized age this was the only way of buying and selling foodstuffs.

But with modern mechanization allowing for farms that are thousands of acres and transportation of produce across continents, many countries have relied on supermarket chains.

A few countries, especially in Europe and Asia, have been able to maintain the outdoor market system, at least on a once-a-week basis, offering locally produced vegetables, fruits, and meats, as well as homemade cheeses and fresh-caught fish.

Some of the larger of these marketplaces have become famous for selling other goods such as silks, pottery, and even gems. The largest marketplace of this type is in Marrakech, Morroco, which has been continually operating since Medieval times.

However, it is only in recent years that the idea of “Farmers Markets” has gone mainstream, especially in the U.S. The “Go Green” movement is partially responsible, along with the latest trend in searching out healthy, nutritious food.

More and more urbanized folks are yearning for fresh, wholesome, and even organic produce to replace decades of processed and long-haul foods bought in supermarkets.

Statistics show that this trend is a strong one – the number of Farmers Markets in the U.S. has grown from 1755 in 1994 to over 5500 in 2013.

Five of the most popular Farmers Markets in the U.S. are:

1. Union Square Greenmarket, New York City, NY. 
 This city boasts over 40 Farmers Markets, of which Greenmarket is the flagship.

2. Ferry Plaza Market, San Francisco, CA.
Located against the backdrop of San Francisco's Ferry Terminal, this farmers market features fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood and a gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge.

3. Capital City Farmers Market, Montpelier, VT.
The Capital City Farmers Market continues the tradition of small scale farmers markets with its total of forty vendors. It is famous for its variety of specialty farms like the Berry Creek Farm and Blackwell Roots Farm.

4. Santa Fe Farmers Market, Santa Fe, NM. 
The Santa Fe Farmers Market hosts over one hundred local vendors and offers a selection of Southwestern delicacies such as the smoked ristra chiles

5. Hale Halawei Farmers Market, Kauai, HI.
While each Hawaiian island offers its own popular Farmers Markets, including the Upcountry Farmers Market on Maui, and the Saturday Farmers’ Market at Kapi’olani on Oahu, the Hale Halawei wins popularity votes for good reason – it’s a natural being located on Hawaii’s “Garden Island.”

In addition, this Farmers Market doubles as a “Cultural Festival," with lei-making and hula-dancing classes.

A wonderful way of truly enjoying the bounty of local Farmers Markets on your travels is to stay in a timeshare rental. This type of accommodation is not only budget-friendly, but includes a kitchen where you can feast on your bounty.

Photo Credit: massbrewersguild.com

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