8 Reasons to Support Farmers’ Markets (Video)

Spring farmers markets are sprouting up across the country. In this clip from Nourish, organic farmer Nigel Walker, chef Bryant Terry, author Anna Lappé, and others celebrate the joys of farmers markets.

Why Support Farmers Markets?
Farmers markets are on the rise. The USDA National Farmers Market Directory listed 6,132 markets in 2010, more than double the number reported in 2000. Farmers markets improve neighborhoods and build healthy communities. By visiting your local farmers markets, you:

  • Create relationships. Farmers markets offer a safe, outdoor space to meet and mingle with neighbors and food producers. More than just a place to shop, the farmers market is a place to build community around food.
  • Enjoy food at its freshest and most flavorful. Food that is grown, produced, and sold locally taste better—and is better for you—than food that has traveled thousands of miles from farm to plate.
  • Try new foods. Many farmers let you sample before buying. If you’re not sure how to prepare a particular fruit or vegetable, ask the vendor for suggestions.
  • Get in tune with the seasons. When you shop at the farmers market, you discover the excitement of spring’s first cherry harvest and the first sweet potatoes of fall. Farmers markets educate us about what foods are local and when they’re at their peak.

 

  • Learn the story of your food. By meeting farmers and food producers face to face, you can ask questions about how your food was grown, when it was picked, and what items are special or in season this week.
  • Invest in local farms and businesses. By enabling farmers to sell their produce at retail cost, farmers markets help sustain businesses and families in your area, and provide a venue for new and small-scale farms.
  • Preserve farmland and the environment. Farmers markets keep local farms in business, which reduces sprawl and protects farmland and open spaces. By encouraging local food production, they also reduce the use of fossil fuels and natural resources.
  • Give back. By shopping at farmers markets, you nourish your community. Help your market thrive by volunteering as an organizer, promoter, or greeter. If you don’t have a farmers market in your area, consider starting one (see the resources below).

Getting Started
Find farmers markets and local food in your area by using Local Harvest or Eat Well Guide. Explore an in-depth produce guide, seasonality charts, and recipes at the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture. Don’t have a market in your neighborhood? The University of Missouri Extension has a FAQ on starting and operating one.

Check out the Nourish website for more ideas and resources. Stay tuned for more selections from the Nourish Video Encyclopedia, a collection of short films that explore the story of our food.

Where do you go to get fresh, healthy food?

Related:
10 Mistakes to Avoid at the Farmers’ Market
Are You Right for a CSA?
5 Tips for CSA Cooking

73 comments

Jo S.
Jo S.10 months ago

Thank you.

Jo S.
Jo S.11 months ago

Thank you.

Joe R.
Joe R.4 years ago

Great places - but limited due to our long winters.

Ellie Damann
.4 years ago

i work at a grocery store, so i buy all my food there

Tracy T.
Tracy T.4 years ago

We need to get beyond the quick and easy when it comes to choosing our food. When you take time to meet farmers and buy your food locally you are becoming part of a great story. A story involving a community's economical growth as well as improving your own physical health.

Visit my blog: pghfoodie.wordpress.com to discover more about Pittsburgh's wonderful food culture.

Jo Asprec
Jo Asprec5 years ago

Yes! I love buying the fresh fruits and veggies offered at the farmers' market. I also enjoy engaging the sellers and farmers in conversation. Some share some tips on food preparation.I also learned garden tips from them. Some have become my friends through the years.

C L.
CL L.5 years ago

I do try to buy all my veggies from the farmers Market I live in Oxnard one of the most fertile areas in CA and we have great veggies all year round; thank you for the reminder of why is best to invest locally.

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

great now support

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago

Ta.

carlee trent
carlee trent5 years ago

noted