It was declared by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, that August 3 – 9, 2014, is National Farmer’s Market Week. Throughout the week, the USDA will celebrate the nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them. We applaud this celebration as we know just how important these markets and farmers are to the local communities.
At times, our budgets or lifestyles don’t allow us the luxury of buying local but if they do, here are a five reasons that you might want to consider purchasing from your local market:
- Meet local farmers – At most markets, you’ll meet men and women who are actually working on the farms or have part ownership in the land. They can give you insight into the produce, how it’s grown and tips for cooking produce that might be new to you.
- Samples – At most local markets, you’ll find everything from beekeepers who produce their own honey, to fresh salsas and jams, local yogurt and even some area farm-to-table restaurants. Often they’ll provide samples of their food. It’s a great way to get your kids to try new items.
- Entertainment – In addition to the merchants, some of these markets have live music, activities for children or even local artists displaying their work.
- Camaraderie – Because most farmer’s markets are set up within the local community, it’s a great time to connect with friends and neighbors.
- Invest in the community – Investing in a locally-owned business keeps more money in the community than if you spend it at a national chain. You are also getting food that is more ripe because it does not have to travel as far to get into the consumer’s hands, ultimately reducing environmental impact.
The USDA wants to know what YOU are doing for National Farmer’s Market Week. Click here to find ways you can share the fun that you have this week at your local market!
Lastly, make sure and grab a copy of our Farmer’s Market Fresh DVD, where Windy, the lungs, discovers the importance of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. The kids will love it!
Do you have a local farmer’s market? What is your favorite thing about shopping local?