NATIONAL FARMERS MARKET WEEK
The first full week of August brings around National Farmers Market Week. Along with it comes the bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables ripe for your family’s table.
The week is ideally timed to coincide with the seasons when local produce starts to come into full maturity. That makes the week a good time to re-visit your local food producers who appear year after year when produce is ripe. The people bringing in produce congregate in the parking lots and shopping areas to sell directly to customers. During the first week in August, there will even be one set up in the parking lot of the US. Department of Agriculture in Washington DC.
Farmers markets are some of the most community-based enterprises to exist. More than 85% of farmers market vendors traveled fewer than 50 miles to sell at a farmers market. In fact, more than half of farmers went less than 10 miles to their market, according to the USDA.
The annual national proclamation from the U.S.D.A. making this Farmers Market Week praises the local effort for producers to sell directly to customers:
They “serve as significant outlets by which small-to-medium, new and beginning, and veteran agricultural producers market agricultural products, and [generate ] revenue that supports the sustainability of family farms and the revitalization of rural communities nationwide.”
What is the farmers market?
A farmers market is a public retail event, usually, one in which farmers or their family members directly sell their products to consumers.
They are not elaborate points of sale, often no more than a display of produce from the back of a pickup truck, or the side door of a van parked along with others in an urban parking lot. Farmers markets are very personable; bonds grow between farmers, shoppers, and communities.
By cutting out middlemen, farmers earn more from their goods ow and shoppers receive fresh locally produced food.
The advantages of buying at a farmers market:
- Taste the real flavors of the produce
- Celebrate the season with a traditional bounty
- Support the local economy
- Eat wholesome natural foods instead of processed foods
- Building connections to learn cooking tips, recipes, and meal ideas
HOW TO OBSERVE
Visit a farmers market. Each market has a different feel, so visit several for a nutritional and educational outing.
There are nearly 10,000 farmers markets in the United States. You can find a local farmers market from the U.S.D.A. listing.
Use #farmersmarketweek to follow the conversation on social media.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture proclaimed the first National Farmers Market Week in 1999.
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