This week I’m taking a break from telling you how to grow your own garden to encourage you to support your local farmers during National Farmer’s Market Week. This national effort is led by the National Farmers Market Coalition, which includes a number of agencies and organizations focused on promoting local farming.
Buying produce, meat, cheese, eggs, or flowers at a local farmer’s market directly supports farmers in your own community as well as the local economy. I’ve seen studies that show that spending one dollar at the farmers market is equivalent to adding seven dollars to the local economy, since it is cycled through many local businesses such as seed stores, equipment sellers and repairers, and more.
Supporting local farmers also builds a local food system that increases the availability of healthy, local foods for everyone to enjoy by making farming more sustainable for the farmer. You can think of local produce farming as a small business, and the farmers at your local market as entrepreneurs – it takes money to support both them and their businesses. The availability of local, healthy produce in turn leads to a healthier, vibrant community.
So go out this week, and the rest of the season, to support your local farmers at your local farmers market. Not sure where your market is? In Omaha, check out this great list of all the local farmers markets, from the big ones at local shopping centers to small neighborhood markets. You can also check out the USDA National Farmers Market Directory.