You're an old pro at the farmers market system. You know the tricks of the trade: getting in early to snag those beautiful blue eggs, dodging through the aisles only stopping to give a quick 1-2 peck on the cheeks of your fellow die-hard and maybe, just maybe, swinging by to savor a buttery croissant from the newest breadbaker before heading off to brunch. Or maybe you're the type to take it slow, arriving early, strolling along and taking it all in. Either way, you've been doing this forever.
So, why is the USDA just now declaring a National Farmers Market Week you might ask? Because of people like you. YOU have created a demand. YOU have proven that you like what you see, feel and receive as a result of being and shopping in a public marketplace. There's just something about that interconnectedness with the sights, sounds, colors and personal interactions that makes it more special than heading off to the grocery store each week. In just the last 5 years, 5000 farmers markets have been added to the list of registered markets in the United States; YOU did that.
And because of it, locally-based small businesses are seeing an increase in their own demand like never before. And better yet, this is a direct sell opportunity for them, which means your money only supports them and their families. Its a win-win-win-win for you, them, our communities and the health of our food system.
A study by the Project for Public Spaces revealed that people who shop at farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions per visit, while they would only have one or two per visit to the grocery store.
Let's ensure that this isn't the latest food trend. Keep showing up; keep shaking the hand of your local farmer or artisan so that your demand is evidenced and the supply from our small family farms has no choice but to increase. YOU can do it.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
1. Try New Things
Head to our Good Food Finder and explore what else is out there. Look for these people at your local markets and try them out. You never know what you'll find or who you'll meet.
2. Travel and Explore New Markets
Arizona's landscape is extremely diverse and allows for a variety of growing seasons. It also makes for fun road trips! Take a day or even a weekend staycation and explore Arizona's farmers markets wherever you go.
3. Cook at Home
For some, it might sound difficult or like quite the undertaking, but experimentation is most of the fun! Set some goals for yourself whether one new food per week or once per week at the dinner table with family and get experimenting. Here's a Farmers Market recipe written by one of our own Good Food Finder contributors to start you off.
4. Think Beyond Food
Farmers Markets are usually filled with so many more purposeful small businesses involved in more than just food. Think outside the box, increasing your own impact and support them too. Here's a list of local, small businesses we like to refer to, from household cleaning to auto repair and beyond.