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April 11th, 2014

Vidas360: local farmers markets inspire us to lend a helping hand

By Vidas360, Maria, and Alvaro

Follow Maria and Alvaro on their trip around the world as they spread kindness and share how to Do The KIND Thing in their travels.

Get a better cultural understanding by visiting farmers markets or offering a helping hand. In our travels, we are always looking to deepen our knowledge of the culture, people, traditions and food of every country we visit. We’ve found that no matter where you are, you can always find a bustling community at the farmers markets! These markets are really gathering places filled with local farmers, neighbors, office workers, and passersbys that come together to shop, share recipes, learn about new cooking trends or simply to enjoy locally-grown food. Farmers markets not only provide the opportunity for small family farms to sell their products directly to consumers, but they also ensure unique relationships between farmers and eaters and encourage a diversity of produce to flourish.

But the experience doesn’t end after visiting the local markets. If you are interested in how to live a more sustainable life, want to know more about the food we put into our bodies or support farmers and their communities, spending time on a farm is a great experience. If you’re willing to get your hands dirty, many farms around the world are willing to invite volunteers to learn more about the people, culture and rural life in exchange for an extra set of hands.

We visited and volunteered in cocoa farms in Venezuela. We helped build a drying system that allows air to flow while cacao beans dry under the sun. This process improves the quality of the beans and it also makes the final taste of chocolate better! With a simple act of volunteering time and energy, you can improve the life of farmers and their families.

Experiencing the hard work that goes into producing good food is important. Farm volunteers can pick the grapes that become the most wonderful wine, harvest crops, milk cows, or build a warehouse for storing cocoa beans that will be transformed into the most delicious chocolate.

There is no need to go too far, you can look for farms close to your city or visit your local farmers market. If you are more adventurous and want to combine these interests with your travels, you can look for farms that are open to volunteers around the world through sites like World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, Help Exchange or Workaway.

Share pictures of your favorite farmers and the bounties of the Spring market with the hashtag #kindawesome

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