What are your food needs during National Farmers Market Week, August 3 - 9?

Farmers Markets are in full swing now with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables available from local farmers. Plan to shop local during every week not just during National Farmers Market Week August 3 – 9.

What are your food needs during National Farmers Market Week, August 3 - 9?

The official proclamation was signed in declaring August 3-9, 2014 National Farmers Market Week. This marks the 15th year that farmers markets are being recognized in this way. Farmers markets play an important role in our local economies and our communities. They create place, destination and provide healthy, fresh produce and related goods.

If you have never been to a farmers market, this week offers a great opportunity to check them out. You can take some time to talk to the farmer that grew the food or maybe a vendor that sells a value product like fresh baked goods or meats. The variety of goods available at some farmers markets is surprising. Add to that the many farmers markets that accept SNAP via Bridge cards and the healthy food offerings now become very affordable.

It is also quite common to be greeted with entertainment, cooking or canning classes or some other form of added value for taking the time to visit the farmers market. Some communities value their markets so much that they have constructed permanent market facilities. These shelters provide adequate booth space and parking for vendors and patrons to shop in relative comfort and in some cities a small business incubator space as well.

The items that you can expect to find at your farmers market in Michigan during August are: beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, onions and leeks; peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, summer squash, herbs, flowers, blueberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, melons and early apples. This is a great time to stock your freezer with fresh local healthy produce.

Shopping at the farmers market can be a pleasurable family experience. For more information about local foods, community food systems and food hubs contact Michigan State University Extension community food system educators who are working across Michigan to provide community food systems educational programming and assistance.

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