Fresh, Local, Farmers’ Markets

By Kathryn M. MillerFresh food, grown by local farmers, brought to a neighborhood gathering place near you. One of the oldest forms of direct marketing by small farmers, farmers’ markets offer not only the opportunity to buy fresh food and locally made goods, but they give shoppers a chance to meet the people behind these products. This in turn helps strengthen the local community and boost its economy – a win-win.

On a recent Saturday, the Roadrunner Park Farmers’ Market boasted a nearly full parking lot. The large crowd was milling amongst booths brimming with fresh produce, baked goods, young landscape plants and garden herbs and prepared foods and gift items handcrafted by local artisans. Looking to order some grass-fed beef? There was a vendor for that; same with farm-fresh eggs.

The Roadrunner Market is just one of the many markets popping up in the Northeast Valley, and indeed across the country. As of mid-2011, there were 7,175 farmers’ markets operating throughout the U.S. – a 17 percent increase from 2010. Good news for those who are seeking a healthier lifestyle; one where consumers can name the source of their food.

August 5-11 has been designated as National Farmers’ Market week…a good time to discover a market near you. For information or to find a market, visit www.localharvest.org; www.arizonafarmersmarkets.com, www.phoenixpublicmarket.com; or www.azlocalfarmersmarkets.com. | CST

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