Our assistant market manager Gaby was recently asked by a young boy, about 10 years old, “Why are Farmers Markets so important in their communities?” It got me to thinking… why are farmers markets so important? What value can they add to your life? What value can they add to the community they are found in?
Let’s take a look at how these questions might be answered…
Why are farmers markets so important in their communities? What value do they add?
- They connect communities of people around a centralized need – food. Think about this- when you go to the grocer and are picking out your fruit/veggies/food you have aisles to walk down and pick what you want without asking for assistance. You are not engaged by folks (usually) and you do not engage folks (usually). However at a market you are asking the farmer to gather your produce, you are speaking to the person next to you as you wait for the farmer’s attention (if they are busy), you are brushing past folks and saying excuse me, good morning, that looks yummy… You have more opportunity to build community when you are actually engaging with the people WITHIN that community.
- Farmers markets have both a direct and indirect impact on the economic growth of the communities in which they are found. These markets directly support the farmer and their family, however there are other indirect bonuses. Home values go where markets are located, revenue of businesses located near the markets go up and markets are catalysts for change within communities.
Markets are building both the social and economic needs of communities in which they are found.
What value can markets add to YOUR life?
- The FRESH foods you are purchasing from the market are packed with nutrients. The fresh fruits and veggies are picked at the peak of their ripeness ensuring that the nutrients they harbor are readily available to you. These nutrient dense foods will add more antioxidants and phytonutrients in to your diet, helping YOU become/stay healthy.
- You are engaged with your farmer and other local shoppers. You are talked to, you are heard, you have social interactions which can be very uplifting.
- You can involve your whole family, or friends, or coworkers (back to number 2 and the social aspect). Shopping at the market becomes an outing for your family. A free place to come and experience so many different smells, tastes and sights.
- You get to experience new foods. Adding in new foods and new recipes can expand your palate. Farmers are GREAT resources for recipes. They have to eat their produce as well and you can be SURE they don’t eat the same thing over and over, they experiment and you get to reap the rewards of their trials/errors with new/flavorful recipes!
You are happier and healthier when shopping at a farmers market.