Growing season is in full swing, and your local farmers market has the freshest produce, meats and value-added products around.
When you purchase from a farmers market vendor, most of which are small, family operations, it reduces the time it takes for food to travel from a large, commercial farm to a grocery store and onto your dinner plate. This means that local growers can wait to pick the produce and deliver it to you when it is at the peak of freshness. At the same time, you are reducing fuel emissions and transportation costs the growers would have to pay to sell their products outside the county. Many times, farmers markets are closer to your home than a grocery store, so shopping at the markets could cut down on your fuel costs too.
Buying from farmers markets is good for the local economy and one way to preserve agriculture in rural communities. Farmers market purchases keep your money in your community. It allows growers with small-to-medium-sized operations to receive a fair price for their products without having to compete against large commercial growers. With an established, local market to sell their products, new growers have a viable entry into agriculture and an improved chance at success.
With much of the farmers markets products being fresh fruits and vegetables, you also have the opportunity to add more nutrition, vitamins and minerals to your family’s plates. This can lead to healthier diets.
Buying from a local vendor can help you connect to the person who is growing your food. It can be a great lesson for your children on where food comes from. Over the course of the season, many repeat farmers market customers develop personal connections and friendships with vendors.
The McCreary County Farmers Market is open from 9am-12pm every Saturday at 299 Wilburn K. Ross Hwy in Whitley City. During the summer months, they also set up in front of Kristina’s Kitchen on Main Street in Whitley City from 3pm-5:10pm. McCreary County Extension sets up a table each month at the McCreary County Farmers Market as well. We provide recipes, program materials and information, special demos, and Grab-n-Go bag kits for children and adults. For more information about your local farmers market, contact the McCreary County Cooperative Extension Office at 606-376-2524, visit our website at mccreary.ca.uky.edu, or follow us on Facebook!
Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.