Thoughts on Celebrating Farmers Market Week (Aug 2–9)
Today the local food movement has captured the attention of the nation: From the White House food garden to the increasing numbers of new farmers markets opening around the country. Over the last 10 years, there has been over 150% increase in the opening of farmers markets’ and most certainly the number of vendors and farmers participating. The direct to consumer movement is upon us and more frustrated consumers are looking for the fresh, nutritious food and community gathering places that farmers’ markets provide.
Farmers who sell their goods directly to the consumer are dedicated to keeping their small family farms alive and thriving. By selling directly to the consumer, they provide a positive investment in our future food supply. Sustainable farming practices make a huge difference in our local economy, environment and social communities by consuming less fuel, chemicals and water and by increasing the nutrient value in our food.
The challenges of farming in this region make this a difficult profession to be in.
We would encourage you, our customers, to ask questions about the origin of your produce. As the consumer, you can be discriminatory in your purchases because more often than not, you are asking questions from the very person who grew your food. Today your local farmers market reflects the agricultural and culinary roots from the past when small local stores carried a specific group of items. The General Store, bakeries, a butcher, and a fishmonger were all along the main street of any town.
Other than the positive impact of small economic development, the positive global impact is undeniable. Farmers’ markets nourish and feed us in so many ways by forging connections between neighbors, farmers, food producers and community. We want to thank you, our dedicated customers, for you are the ones that have nurtured Heirloom’s markets and the Rillito Food Pavilion. If you have a friend that hasn’t visited the market Rillito Park, we hope you will invite them to the market and continue to help us build a healthy, vibrant community.