Know your farmer, know your food

For most of us, there’s no better place to buy fruits and vegetables than at a farmers’ market. Although price points may differ, what’s inarguable is that farmers’ markets offer food of superior quality, they help support smaller-scale farmers at time that’s getting increasingly more difficult for anyone not doing industrial-scale agriculture, and increase the amount of local food available to shoppers.

When you buy directly from a farmer, you’re pretty much guaranteed real freshness. The produce I buy at the market in Newcastle lasts two or three times longer than supermarket produce. You’re supporting a local business — even a neighbour. And you have the opportunity to ask, ‘How are you grow-ing this food?’ Farmers’ markets are not just markets. They’re educational systems that teach us how food is raised and why that matters.

A ‘Verified Local Farmers’ Market’ is defined as a producers-only, community-driven (not private) multi-vendor farmers’ market featuring only the actual farmers, growers and producers of the products they sell. In many cases they are mis-sion-driven: organizers want to make sure small farms remain viable and that we, nonfarmers, have access to good local food.

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