How You Can Impact the World with Your Local Farmers Market

Designed by: Bellesen, Rachel. “Feed it Forward”. 2021

There is something refreshing about spending a sunny Saturday at my local farmers market in the heart of Bellingham, Washington. It feels gratifying to get fresh, perfectly ripe produce from the person who helped pick it out of the ground for me to enjoy. Ultimately, the sense of community that comes from listening to live music while enjoying a meal with close friends in the summer sun is rejuvenating.

While grocery shopping often feels like a chore, a trip to the farmers market transforms a dull errand into something restorative — for yourself, the environment, and your community.
a woman picking out fresh locally grown tomatoes at a farmers market stand
Going to the farmers market is about much more than nostalgia and community. The money you spend on those brilliant blackberries goes straight into the farmer’s pocket. In other words, your money doesn’t end up at big corporations across the country like it does when you shop at large grocery chains.

A Farmers Market Contribution to Community Well-Being

Instead, your money stays within the community. The delicious berries you bought are actually fueling local jobs and the local economy at large. Extraordinarily, a single basket of berries from your farmers market directly benefits local farmers and creates stronger communities
Further, the support you give to local farmers doesn’t go unnoticed. For Janelle Abel, an Apple Farmer at Bellewood Farms — an orchard and distillery in Lynden, Washington, a farmers market is more than an opportunity to sell produce.
“[It’s] witnessing the whole process of growing fruit come full circle,” she said. After all, reveling in their customers’ company and seeing them enjoy the fruit Bellewood Farms worked hard to grow is a joy and privilege to witness for Janelle.
sign at a local farmers market that reads fresh from the farm, locally grown

Farmers Markets Foster A Prosperous Planet

Walking amongst friends and community members while choosing the best produce local farms have to offer also benefits our environment. For instance, you might be pleased to know that the carrots you’ve carefully selected have traveled significantly fewer miles than the carrots you’ll find at the grocery store. Fewer miles from farm to market means a lower carbon footprint and a healthier planet. Meanwhile, the small farms you’re buying groceries from don’t heavily rely on pesticides that can harm our health as well as the earth.

Shopping Local is More Nourishing

The food you get from the farmers market is just as nourishing for you as it is for your community and our planet. Buying local produce allows you to experience the authentic taste of summer unique to what your backyard has to offer. Plus, spending time at your local farmer’s market enables you to directly connect to your food source, which is rewarding in itself.
More importantly, the produce you buy at the farmers market is more nourishing than what you’ll find at the grocery store. According to Michigan State University, local produce is picked at the peak of freshness, ensuring you are getting the maximum amount of nutrients.
a farmer standing in a field of purple bean bushes harvesting them by hand.
Meanwhile, produce from the grocery store is typically harvested early and ripens on the road. So, when consuming it you’re likely missing out on those essential vitamins and minerals local produce is guaranteed to have.

Feeding it Forward at Your Farmers Market

Overall, the farmers market isn’t just a place to pick up the most vibrant and fresh produce grown with good intention. It also gives the community a reason to come together to feed it forward for the prosperity of communities and the environment.
a farmers market stand with fresh locally grown carrots, greens, beets, and onions

“This is the work of nourishing our neighbors with good, local, sustainable food and connecting to our community in a way that brings meaning and joy to the everyday act of eating,” Janelle sums it up.

While every farmers market isn’t alike, they all undoubtedly foster a sense of community, love, and inclusivity. Surely, we could all use a little more of it after a long tiresome year of isolation.

Looking for more ways to support the well-being of your community, planet, and self?

Connect with us on social media for all things sustainability and self-care @cookandculture

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