There's more to a local farm market than meets the eye. Yes, the best foods are there, and there are huge savings to be had in food miles, but you also support your neighbors and small businesses and get a rejuvenating opportunity to enjoy the season!
What I enjoy the most about going to a local market is meeting the passionate people, both vendors and buyers, who commune once a week at the altar of agriculture.
Winter Farmers Market
Earth Eats recently took a visit to the Bloomington, Indiana Winter Farmers Market at the Harmony School gymnasium. We found a plethora of locally grown foods...winter greens, squash, root vegetables, and possibly the most popular among the people we talked to: cheese!
Most intriguing were the shiitake mushrooms. Within a 24 hour period, shiitake can actually double in size.
Cheerleaders For Farmers
The market acts not only as a place for locals to go and purchase the tastiest fruits of the season. But it provides a platform for consumers to interact with the local growers and learn more about where their food comes from
The suppliers also get the chance to educate consumers. Mandy Corey, owner and operator of Schact Farms, comments on the relationship between market goer and provider, "people are really invested in us and what we do, they're kind of our cheerleaders."
As one market-goer puts it, "This is a community building event... it's not just money and food exchanging hands...it's community being built."