Happy July 4th weekend, all. Looking towards the holiday, we got inspired by a phrase: Proud nations eat local. Katrina, our market manager in Park Slope on Wednesdays, playfully declared these words in the spirit of Independence Day. Yet her words have resonance. Here at Down to Earth Markets, we manage approximately 20 farmers markets during the year with the goal to provide everyone a fun, easy way to be proud. Why shop at the farmers market? We’ve got 8 great reasons here:
8 Reasons to Shop at Down to Earth Farmers Markets
1) Our vendors are independent farmers and food makers. As the national food industry consolidates, our markets bring together small, family-owned companies of producers and food entrepreneurs.
2) Market farmers grow greater variety. When farmers sell to the wholesale produce market, the wholesale market wants a limited spectrum of products. When they sell at the farmers market, their customers ask for greater variety, and to satisfy this demand, they grow a greater range of crops. This is great for local biodiversity, as well as for hungry locavores.
3) The fruits and vegetables at Down to Earth Farmers Markets are grown with NON-GMO seed.
4) Our farmers markets celebrate our shared food heritage. Macoun apples. Onions nurtured by the renowned “Black Dirt” of Orange County, NY. Today’s catch from the Atlantic Ocean. These are all foods native to the New York area. Likewise, we also relish internationally-inspired foods made with local ingredients. If you know the Indian chutneys from Bombay Emerald Chutney Company, the “Israeli soul food” from Taiim Falafel Shack, or the Japanese dressings and marinades from MOMO, you know what we mean. (Just to name a few…!)
5) Farmers markets bring communities together. As Michael Pollan wrote, “the farmer’s market is the country’s liveliest new public square.” In the same article, he quoted the study that as many as 10 times the number of conversations happen at the farmers market than at the conventional grocery store. Hey there, neighbor!
6) Down to Earth Markets are live and in-person events; they happen off-line. On average, Americans spend about 8 hours a day in front of a screen — computer, phone, tv — you name it. Let’s engage our senses in a fresh way with delicious foods to see, touch, and TASTE.
7) Farmers markers are open to all, from longtime fans to those attending for the first time. Our open air venues have no walls, nor pretense. And many of our markets are E.B.T. equipped to facilitate shoppers with SNAP benefits.
8) The food at the farmers market fresh and real. It is grown by farmers from this region with the goal of taste, not transport. We don’t allow artificial ingredients at our markets, so we can all enjoy delicious food in its purest form.
All of the Down to Earth Farmers Markets – both large and small markets – support these eight great reasons. If you’d like to see your local farmers market grow, please keep supporting it. Vendors of a feather flock together, and when they can earn their livelihood at a market, they share the good news with their friends. The fastest way to grow the farmers market is to c’mon out and encourage our neighbors to do the same. With this in mind, we look forward to seeing you this weekend – thank you!