National Farmers Market Week, celebrated every first week in August, from August 6 to 12 this year, is the time of year where local farmers are provided with an extra opportunity to market the goods they grow. It also serves as a way to advertise and promote the numerous benefits of organic produce, as well as the value of such markets for a community. Yes, farmers’ markets not only make a nation healthier but also give back to the community by providing jobs. So this National Farmers Market Week, understand the essence of organic food and have the time of your life by partaking in the fun events, contests, and activities held to honor the week.
History of National Farmers Market Week
A farmers’ market essentially is a place where food is sold directly from the farmer to the consumer. This means there are no middlemen, nor is the food kept in freezers for days and weeks before it reaches someone’s kitchen. And since the fruits, vegetables, and meats from a farmers’ market are completely organic and free of preservatives and pesticides, they are healthy and taste delicious. The produce is not genetically modified and is extremely nutritious. Seeing the benefits of organic produce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proclaimed the first National Farmers Market Week in 1999.
However, the history of organic farming is more complicated than we can imagine since there was a time when the world only had organic food. The need to opt for chemically grown produce emerged much later. From around 1300 to 1400 B.C., mixed-crop cultivation and animal husbandry were the norm. The only problem experienced by farmers was the slow growth rate of fruits and vegetables, as well as the constant attacks of pests. To counter this issue, research during World War II lead to the development of a new class of synthetic chemical pesticides in 1945. After this innovation, organic farming drastically decreased since it was hard to maintain and produced limited crops every season.
In the coming decades, researchers revealed the negative effects of consuming food grown using pesticides, and interest in healthier alternatives rose again. During this period, governments across the U.S. began providing funding to farmers’ markets to re-advertise organic produce.
National Farmers Market Week timeline
Farmers gather along the Nile in Egypt to sell fresh produce.
The first farmers market opens up in Boston.
Grocery stores become popular and farmers’ markets take a backseat.
The importance of organic food and farmers’ markets gains public attention.
National Farmers Market Week FAQs
Is it cheaper to buy from a farmers’ market?
Farmers’ markets are cheaper when you are shopping for fruit and vegetables that are in season.
Are farmers’ markets good?
Farmers’ markets are good because they provide organic fruits and vegetables.
Why are farmers’ markets so expensive?
This is because the products available there are organic, fresh, and have more nutrients.
How to Celebrate National Farmers Market Week
Visit a farmers’ markets
Since a lot of farmers’ markets emerge during this week, the best way to celebrate is to visit one and see how it differs from the typical markets. While you are there, buy some organic produce too!
Teach children the importance of farmers markets
As the world modernizes, the youth has little to no understanding of how things were before technology took over. Use this week to educate them about non-organic food and the damage it can do.
Grow something organic of your own
To actually find out how hard it is to grow organic food, sow the seeds of a fruit or vegetable that is easy to nurture in your very own backyard.
5 Fun Facts You Need To Know About Farmers’ Markets
Farmers markets in the U.S.
There are over 8,690 farmers’ markets nationwide.
Amount of food sold in 2015
Around 167,000 U.S. farms sold $8.7 billion worth of food in 2015.
Animals free of torture
A farmers’ market has meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals raised without hormones or antibiotics.
Economic benefits for farmers
The farmers at these markets pocket 90 cents for each dollar of sales.
Expanding farmers’ markets
A program known as “Farm to Fork” has been launched by the European Union to expand farmers’ markets.
Why National Farmers Market Week is Important
It supports local farmers
Farmers’ markets are beneficial for local farmers who produce organic products. The week highlights their importance and increases their sales.
It promotes organic food
Since farmers’ markets are all about organic produce, the nation becomes aware of how essential organic food is for the health and the environment.
It protects animals
Organic farming is all about creating food the natural way. Hence, the animals used for organic farming have better, healthier lives.
National Farmers Market Week dates