Farmers Markets are an integral part of the community. It is a place where producersand consumers can meet face-to-face, so that the consumer can know who is growing his or her food, and the farmer can the impact his or her work has on those who eat the end product. Farmers Markets are also places where artists and artisans can have a platform for their individual crafts and trades, where local musicians can entertain shoppers while showcasing their talents to the public, and overall people can meet up with friends. The Farmers Market is not just a marketplace; it’s a community gathering place.
Farmers Markets give back to the community in several ways. Economically, they keep local dollars from going to big chain stores and encourage patronage at nearby shops and restaurants. Environmentally, they add usefulness to urban hardscapes, increase nearby property values, and ensure that green spaces are conserved for farming. Socially they encourage people to get out of their homes and interact more with their neighbors, provide a safe place for children, and reduce crime in that immediate area. Despite all of that, most people are unaware that Farmers Markets also give back to local causes.
It is a little-known fact that Farmers Markets provide free space to other community non-profit agencies, so that they have the chance to reach the public in no other way possible to spread their message and mission. Everything from homelessness causes, environmental causes, pet adoptions, disease awareness, children’s causes, and on and on have found a unique way to do community outreach through the goodwill of the Farmers Markets.
So the next time you come to the market to pick up your fresh produce, groceries, and unique gifts, be sure to seek out the community partnership booths as well and see what good things are happening in your neighborhood.