Farmer’s Markets: Reasons & Resources
In support of National Farmer’s Market Week from August 7th to the 14th, Food Finder encourages everyone to get out and support our local farmers, fresh fruit, and vegetable vendors. Many areas of the country are food deserts, and to provide nutritious meals to our families, we must have fruits and vegetables available. Many Food Pantries do not have the ability to store perishable foods, so we must supplement. Wic has a beautiful Farmer’s Market program (details below) because they know that having an array of colorful foods is how we nourish and flourish!
10 Reasons to Support Farmers Markets
From: CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food.
From savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to support farmers’ markets. Here are just a few!
1. Taste Real Flavors
The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmer’s market are the freshest and tastiest. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, and no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.
2. Enjoy the Season
The food you buy at the farmer’s market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the farmer’s market helps you reconnect with our region’s cycles of nature. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the year’s turning.
3. Support Family Farmers
Family farmers need your support now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S. Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.
4. Protect the Environment
Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmer’s market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.
5. Nourish Yourself
Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have adverse effects on human health. In contrast, most food at the farmer’s market is minimally processed. Many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.
6. Discover the Spice of Life: Variety
At the farmers market, you find a fantastic array of produce you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, and green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It is an excellent opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.
7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals
At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture.
8. Know Where Your Food Comes From
A regular trip to a farmer’s market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced. CUESA’s seller profiles that hang at the booths give you even more opportunities to learn about the people working hard to bring you the most delicious and nutritious food. Profiles, articles about sellers, and a map of farms are also available on this website.
9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas
Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy. Still, farmers, ranchers, and artisans at the farmer’s market are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. You can also attend free seasonal cooking demonstrations by leading Bay Area chefs and evening classes on food preservation and other kitchen skills.
10. Connect with Your Community
Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped-in music? Coming to the farmer’s market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children or just get a taste of small-town life amid our wonderful big city.
Farmer’s Market Resources in Southern California
LB Fresh, in addition to Long Beach Famers Markets, gives pantry location details, as well as volunteer opportunities.
State of California Certified Famer’s Markets PDF Listing by County:
WIC Nutrition Program:
WIC Authorized Farmer’s Markets:
USDA Nutrition Program & Farmer’s Markets
Seniors Farmers Market
USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program
NRPA Farmers Market resource
Good Veg Long Beach Farmer’s Markets:
Farmers Market Coalition
We Like LA Lists LA County Famers Markets with History and Facts About Each Location
Ecology Center Farmer’s Market Finder:
If you have more resources or information on Farmer’s Markets, please message us in the comments section.