(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on October 25, 2007. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)

They’re up at 4 am checking the truck making sure they haven’t forgotten anything. On the road before dawn to beat the customers who will be waiting for them as they pull into their stalls. This scene is repeated across the country every Saturday morning.

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I've been up since 4 a.m.

Melons, eggs, turnips and onions. Chickens, apples, peppers and grapes all on their way to farmers markets across the land.

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Just picked this morning

Markets have been a main stay of towns both large and small since the pilgrims landed in 1620. A way for farmers to sell their goods and a place for city folks to purchase fresh produce and other staples.

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A wagon load of sweet corn just in from the field.

Since that time markets have evolved into something of a “happening”. In urban areas like Chicago or Detroit you might find music, mimes, puppet shows for the kids at the market along with the produce vendors. In small towns the market might consist of pickups backing into parking spaces around the town square to sell their goods.

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A little music on a Saturday morning

I’ve been to many markets from Connecticut to Missouri, from Michigan to Florida. Each one is a little different in its own unique way. But the one thing that I’ve discovered that they all have in common, friendly people who will chat on every subject imaginable.

The most anticipated words in the spring are “the market opens this week”.

We’ll be there every week, from buying vegetable transplants and fresh lettuce in the spring to the last of the cider and pumpkins in the fall.

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Many markets carry canning supplies

Fruits and vegetables picked just hours ago. No additives or chemicals to worry about, grown right in your area by folks that you know. Fresh baked pies and cakes. Honey spun from local hives along with fresh herbs. Free range chickens and jumbo eggs from the farm just down the road.

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Fresh honey just spun form the hive.

If you haven’t been to your local farmers market you don’t know what you’re missing. Pack up the kids and get out there next Saturday morning! Be sure to review your favorite local farmers market in Go Gardening. (Take your camera - pictures are welcome!) If your local market is not listed, please add them or contact us for assistance in giving them a free listing.