This is the time of year when farmers markets are cropping up on just about every empty lot. Wherever you look, vendors are selling fresh vegetables and fruits.
The benefit to us as consumers is that "fresh is best". Ever see any of those cooking shows? Especially the French cooking shows? If you have, you know that the number-one tip is to use local ingredients.
When our food is locally grown - and whether it's bought at farmers markets or at larger supermarkets - we're getting the maximum nutritional benefit. It tastes better and it's better for us.
The economic benefit is more directly felt on our area as well, too. Instead of having to pay layers of middlemen, we're paying the local grower who spends his or her money in turn locally.
Congratulations to fair participants
Another Emmet County Fair has come and gone. Over four days, exhibitors showed their crafts and livestock, gaining valuable experience in life skills and animal husbandry.
There's a long list of people to thank, but in general they include 4-H leaders, 4-H and FFA members, Extension staff who went far above and beyond the call of duty, parents who spent endless time (and sometimes it may have seemed like money) on helping their kids get ready for the fair, the fair board, fair sponsors and buyers of market animals. And we've probably left out someone.
If you've ever been to a fair before, you probably get the sensation that fairs are the same everywhere. And they are. They have the same kids striving to do their best and learning a lot.
And that's a big part of life.