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Shop for the good stuff

There seems to be a push during every Christmas holiday season to encourage people to shop at home. Oh, shoot, what am I talking about? I ALWAYS use this column during the holiday season to encourage people to shop at home, right? Yup, I do.

This past year, there were a number of people in the community, new to the shop-at-home mantra, who made a huge effort to keep their holiday season dollars in the community and did quite well with a little creative thinking about their gift giving. The local merchants were pleased to have the added sales and those of us who support local business were grateful as well. Several of the shoppers noted how easy it was to make the switch from big-box store or catalog shopping to local shopping. Good for them!

Recently, articles have appeared in some of the “old people” publications I receive and that large-circulation newspaper from the metropolitan area south of us, about how we should all patronize local farmers’ markets and buy the produce that requires the least amount of shipping and handling. Gee, I wish I had said that first!

Actually, I think perhaps the vendors of Peabody’s Doyle Valley Farmers Market just might have said that very thing in some of their initial ads and stories. Perhaps we don’t pay attention quite like we should.

The vendors of Doyle Valley Farmers Market set up every Saturday morning in Santa Fe Park in Peabody. There is also a market at Florence in Moses Shane Park on Tuesday nights and another in Burns at the downtown gazebo on Friday evenings.

This summer has been a bit unusual for garden produce. By June it seemed as though a bountiful harvest was a sure bet all summer long. By July, everyone was mumbling, “drought …” and the gardens began looking more than a bit stressed. Still, patronizing the farm markets is a “green” thing to do. It is good for the local economy, good for your health, and good for the planet.

Many of the vendors irrigate with well water and still have wonderful produce to harvest. Most markets will be in operation weekly until at least Labor Day, bringing you fresh, wholesome garden produce at nominal prices.

Just like supporting your local merchants with your holiday shopping dollars, it behooves you to buy produce from local growers. Besides, it is the best stuff on the market!

— SUSAN MARSHALL

Last modified Aug. 8, 2012

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