Eating healthy, locally-sourced produce has become all the rage and a growing trend across the country in recent years. Each year the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes a National Directory of Farmers Markets which list farmers markets known to operate in the U.S. You can clearly see the growth of the farmers market in the U.S. in the following graph.
The Benefits of Shopping at a Farmers’ Market…
The benefits of shopping at the local farmers market are many. Markets offer a place to connect with neighbors, meet local farmers, support local small businesses, and provide nutritious food to neighborhoods in need.
The concept underlying farmers markets is to get customers in touch with those who produce their food. In a highly processed world where much of our food is grown outside of our own country, that’s an admirable goal we should all aim to achieve.
Access to fresh, locally grown foods may be one of the greatest benefits to shopping at the farmer’s market. Farmers’ markets have fruits and vegetables at the peak of the growing season. This means produce is at its freshest and tastes the best.
Buying local keeps our dollars circulating in our community and ensures that farming and local food production will remain viable in our area. What can be better than forming a relationship with those that grow your food, you can ask questions, know exactly where your food is coming from and how it’s grown.
Farmers markets are kid-friendly. Let your kids pick out something new to try. Then, let them help prepare a meal or choose a snack based on what caught their eye.
Baton Rouge Area Farmers Markets
Our local farmers’ market includes not only farmers, but local producers of food, products, arts and crafts. Customers will find in season farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, meats, locally produced salad dressings, hummus, sauces, artisan cheeses, fresh breads, honey, jams, handmade soaps, candles and more.
225-267-5060 Main Office
(8am-noon) Downtown Baton Rouge at 5th and Main Streets
The Red Stick Farmers Market also has Red Stick Mobile Farmers Market, an effort to help expand access to fresh fruits and vegetables to areas of the parish labeled “food deserts.
According to a 2012 report by Pennington Biomedical Research Center scientists , as many as 103,000 East Baton Rouge Parish residents — including 25,000 children — live in food deserts — areas with high poverty rates and limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
9-11 am Scotlandville Library, 7373 Scenic Hwy
12:30-2 pm Star Hill Church, 1400 N Foster Drive
8:30-10:30 am Delmont Service Center, 3535 Riley Street
12-2 pm Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center, 950 East Washington Street
The first pop-up market kicked off in May of this year. Be sure to check Alexander’s calendar for future markets.
Sunday our family took a quick stroll through the Pop Up Farmers Market sponsored by Alexander’s Highland Market. The pop up farmers’ market is much smaller than the Breada markets but continues to grow and does showcases some of our most popular farmers, local artisans and food producers, as well as food samples.
The best part of these farmers’ markets… meeting the smart, innovative, entrepreneurs behind the goods that are sold.
As you can see, the Farmer’s Market is a lively spot and a great place to try a variety of local foods. National Farmers Market Week is coming up August 3 through August 9; if you have never visited one of our local farmer’s markets, National Farmers Market Week would be a great time to check one out.