National Farmers Market Week is an annual celebration of the vital role that farmers markets play in our nation's food system. It is typically held in August, during the peak of the growing season.
While National Farmers Market Week was held August 6-12, 2023, our Utah Farmers Markets are far from over. In fact, most run through the end of October this year.
Local Farmers Markets are Important
Our local Farmers Markets provide consumers with access to fresh, local food, while supporting local farmers and economies, and building community. And there are many benefits to shopping at local farmers markets. Here are a few of the most important ones:
- Fresher produce. Farmers market produce is typically picked just hours or days before it is sold, which means it is much fresher than the produce you find at most grocery stores. This means that it will taste better and have more nutrients.
- More variety. Farmers markets often have a wider variety of produce than grocery stores, including heirloom varieties and unusual fruits and vegetables. This is because farmers are able to grow what they want, rather than what they think will sell best.
- Support local farmers. When you shop at a farmers market, you are directly supporting local farmers and helping to keep them in business. This is important because small farms are an important part of the agricultural landscape and help to preserve rural communities.
- Reduce your environmental impact. Farmers market produce typically travels a shorter distance from farm to table than grocery store produce. This means that it has a smaller carbon footprint and is more environmentally friendly.
- Build community. Farmers markets are a great place to meet your neighbors and other members of your community. They are often family-friendly and offer a variety of activities, such as cooking demonstrations, live music, and children's activities.
Farmers Markets Offer More Than Fresh Produce
That's right! Farmers markets offer a wide variety of products beyond fresh produce. Here are a few examples:
Baked goods: Many farmers markets have vendors who sell fresh-baked bread, pastries, pies, and other delicious treats.
That's where we come in at Abigail's Oven. Every Friday our baking team turns up the oven for an extra long day. Since each of our loaves of REAL™ Sourdough Bread is hand made and baked in it own, individual Dutch Oven, there is a lot of work to get ready for the markets in Ogden, SLC Downtown, Murray, So Jordan, Draper, Daybreak, Provo, and Spanish Fork. Combined with the more than 30 stores in Utah that sell our bread, Fridays require us to make and bake 2800 loaves.
But there is so much more to the story. The flour for this bread is grown on certified organic farms in Southern Idaho and then harvested for Central Milling in Logan, Utah. This wheat is processed in an AIB Superior and SQF mill certified 100% Organic by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF). Combined with our local spring water and ancient salt, this is truly a local Utah product
Also at These Markets You'll Find Other Treasures
- Meats and cheeses: Many farmers markets also sell meats and cheeses that are raised and produced locally. This can be a great way to get high-quality, sustainable meat and cheese products.
- Honey: Honey is another popular item at farmers markets. Many vendors sell honey that is produced by their own bees, or by other local beekeepers.
- Prepared foods: Some farmers markets also have vendors who sell prepared foods, such as sandwiches, salads, and soups. This can be a convenient option for people who are looking for a quick and healthy meal on the go.
- Handcrafted goods: In addition to food products, many farmers markets also have vendors who sell handcrafted goods, such as jewelry, pottery, and clothing. This is a great way to support local artisans and find unique gifts for your friends and family.
Support Your Local Community and Have Some Fun!
Farmers markets are a great place to find fresh, local food and other products that you won't be able to find at most grocery stores. They are also a great way to support your local community and economy.
Here are some additional benefits of shopping at farmers markets:
- Learn about local food and farming: Farmers market vendors are often happy to talk to customers about their products and how they grow them. This can be a great way to learn more about local food and farming practices.
- Support sustainable agriculture: Many farmers market vendors use sustainable farming practices, such as organic farming and composting. By shopping at farmers markets, you can support farmers who are working to protect the environment.
- Have a fun and family-friendly experience: Farmers markets are often more than just a place to shop for food. They are also a community gathering place where people can enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations, and other activities. Farmers markets are a great place to take the whole family, and they can be a lot of fun.
If you are looking for a way to eat healthier, support your local community, and reduce your environmental impact, I encourage you to visit your local farmers market today.