Farmers markets around the U.S. are once again open for the summer, heralding a time for strawberries, asparagus, green beans, apricots and other items that consumers have been waiting for all year. There are many reasons why farmers markets have gained so much popularity in recent years. Many frequenters of farmers markets appreciate the chance to shake hands with the farmers who sell the produce, dairy and meat that they purchase. Others find that farmers market produce is fresher and has spent less time traveling from field to market than what is sometimes available in grocery stores. Shopping at a farmers market also provides an easy way to support local farmers and one’s local economy.
Terms like “local” and “organic” are often showcased at farmers markets, and although these designations are appealing to many consumers, they can sometimes be misinterpreted. Food that is grown locally is not necessarily grown organically, and vice versa. Just like in supermarkets, farmers market produce can be grown using a variety of methods and possess the same valuable health benefits regardless of a farmers’ growing choice.
One of the most unique benefits of going to a farmers market involves the relationship that is fostered between farmers and consumers. Opportunities to speak to the people responsible for growing the food we eat are rare. Just as consumers have a desire to learn more about the food they eat, farmers are eager to share their knowledge of farming with others. The next time you’re at a farmers market, consider what Tell Me More moments are available!
CropLife America interviewed some farmers market patrons in Washington, D.C. to see why they choose farmers markets and how they feel about the use of crop protection products. Check below to see thier responses