Garden, Plant, Cook!

Saturday, August 06, 2016

National Farmers Market Week August 7 - August 13th

Dear Folks,

I am still out of town, arranging for this post ahead of time because I want to ask

Do You Support Your Local Farmers and Farmers Markets?

I regularly participate in the Mesa Community Farmers Market and support my local farmers and food producers.  MCFM has been running strong, year round, since 1995.

In a world dominated by big ag corporate farmers, really knowing who produces the food you buy is, in my opinion, a very big deal.

Here in the Valley the numbers of farmers markets has grown substantially.  When I started participating in 1998 or 1999 (don't remember which :-), there were maybe a half a dozen markets, most of them running only during the October - May.

Now there are dozens and dozens, and many run year round.

And now small backyard gardeners can bring small amounts of extra produce to the Community Table where the produce is sold for them for a small fee.  A great win/win for gardener and consumer.

Many of the farmers selling at the local markets started out backyard gardening and their passion brought huge bounties of food and then they had to figure out what to do with it all.  Some went from a backyard to buying or leasing acreage to go into local farming, if not organic, at least organic-like with no chemicals.

Another win/win - we wind up with more local, small farmers who produce gorgeous and tasty food, and the consumer has real food choices.

Not sure where the markets are in Arizona?  Here is a link with many listings, just do a search by your city.

There are other resources for finding markets. The USDA keeps a list of markets, nation wide, which does not include chains.  You can search by zipcode and choose how close you want (10 miles, etc.)  FYI all farmers markets, no matter how small, can list with the USDA, but they have to do that individually.  If you think there may be small FMs or farm stands near you, try a google search.

In addition to your own garden, get the best produce available, SEASONALLY (that means harvested ripe and nearby).

Have a great week!

I will be back blogging as soon as my brain gets off vacation mode :-)

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady 

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