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Rory Brown, Food Writer, Shares the Benefits of Farmer's Markets 

Originally published on pmcaonline.org

Take a wide, public space, and fill it with brightly colored stalls. Populate it with farmers, fishers, beekeepers, florists, artists, fruit growers, vintners, and the produce of their trades. Add the magic ingredient of community, stir, and let sit. The result of this recipe is a thriving farmer's market, bustling with customers. Here Food Writer Rory Brown shares the benefits of farmer's markets as they grow in popularity across many communities. 

Better access to good food

As consumer awareness over themes like sustainability and organic food grows, farmer's markets are a reliable resource for consumers, allowing access to quality produce that is fresh, as well as certifiably grown and harvested. 

Educating the consumer 

Farmer's markets are integral to educating consumers about the production and origin of the food that goes into their diet. City-born children who may have never seen a vine-ripened tomato or fresh eggs have an opportunity to see for themselves where food comes from. Farmer's markets are also a source of information and inspiration for cooking methods and the importance of using seasonal produce. 

Helping producers 

In a low margin, cut-throat business reliant on the vagaries of weather and natural disasters, farmer's markets allow producers to cut out costly middlemen and increase their profit through direct selling and price control. Some farmers indicate that farmer's markets have saved their business from bankruptcy. 

Direct feedback 

In the long and arduous commercial supply chain that leads from muddy farm fields to a neon-lit supermarket, neither the consumer nor the producer has a chance for interaction. Farmer's markets allow buyers and suppliers to provide direct feedback, leading to better value for both. 

Encourages small businesses 

Start-up bakeries, organic strawberry farms, and small scale honey producers may have no other outlet to sell their goods. Farmer's markets allow them to market their produce in small batches, which otherwise would not be accepted at large chain supermarkets. The consumer also benefits from having more choice and better quality. 

Reducing food miles 

Out-of-season bananas and mangoes cost the earth in food miles. Shipped from halfway around the world, these imported foods contribute to increased fossil fuel use. Farmer's markets sell only seasonal produce, grown locally, and reduce the pollution associated with shipping food from overseas. 

Reducing packaging 

The plastic boxes, wrapping, and labels of supermarkets are conspicuously absent at farmer's markets. The lack of superfluous packaging means the food has less exposure to toxins, a faster turnaround from harvest to table, and is beneficial for the environment. 

Community regeneration 

A weekly farmer's market is an important venue for interaction and provides a social outlet for neighbors, regular customers, and the farmers themselves. Farmer's markets are an integral component for the revitalization of community spirit. 

Stimulate local economy 

The regeneration of markets brings more traffic and sales to the surrounding businesses, a trend supported by feedback from retailers located in areas adjacent to markets, which indicates that turnover increases on market days. 

About Rory Brown (Charleston, SC): After spending the first 40 years of his life in the United States, Rory Brown decided to focus on the quality of life and began living internationally. He now spends his time in Lake Como, Italy, Sydney, Australia, Charleston, South Carolina, and Kauai, Hawaii. His appreciation for simple health food that embraces local traditions of excellence has earned him credit among farm-to-table communities everywhere he goes. 

Brown began his career as a technologist and has always focused on healthy lifestyle choices. His well-researched lifestyle writing has increasingly focused on living life to the fullest each day throughout the world.

Rory Brown, Food Writer, Shares the Benefits of Farmer's Markets 

Take a wide, public space, and fill it with brightly colored stalls. Populate it with farmers, fishers, beekeepers, florists, artists, fruit growers, vintners, and the produce of their trades. Add the magic ingredient of community, stir, and let sit. The result of this recipe is a thriving farmer's market, bustling with customers. Here Food Writer Rory Brown shares the benefits of farmer's markets as they grow in popularity across many communities. 

Better access to good food

As consumer awareness over themes like sustainability and organic food grows, farmer's markets are a reliable resource for consumers, allowing access to quality produce that is fresh, as well as certifiably grown and harvested. 

Educating the consumer 

Farmer's markets are integral to educating consumers about the production and origin of the food that goes into their diet. City-born children who may have never seen a vine-ripened tomato or fresh eggs have an opportunity to see for themselves where food comes from. Farmer's markets are also a source of information and inspiration for cooking methods and the importance of using seasonal produce. 

Helping producers 

In a low margin, cut-throat business reliant on the vagaries of weather and natural disasters, farmer's markets allow producers to cut out costly middlemen and increase their profit through direct selling and price control. Some farmers indicate that farmer's markets have saved their business from bankruptcy. 

Direct feedback 

In the long and arduous commercial supply chain that leads from muddy farm fields to a neon-lit supermarket, neither the consumer nor the producer has a chance for interaction. Farmer's markets allow buyers and suppliers to provide direct feedback, leading to better value for both. 

Encourages small businesses 

Start-up bakeries, organic strawberry farms, and small scale honey producers may have no other outlet to sell their goods. Farmer's markets allow them to market their produce in small batches, which otherwise would not be accepted at large chain supermarkets. The consumer also benefits from having more choice and better quality. 

Reducing food miles 

Out-of-season bananas and mangoes cost the earth in food miles. Shipped from halfway around the world, these imported foods contribute to increased fossil fuel use. Farmer's markets sell only seasonal produce, grown locally, and reduce the pollution associated with shipping food from overseas. 

Reducing packaging 

The plastic boxes, wrapping, and labels of supermarkets are conspicuously absent at farmer's markets. The lack of superfluous packaging means the food has less exposure to toxins, a faster turnaround from harvest to table, and is beneficial for the environment. 

Community regeneration 

A weekly farmer's market is an important venue for interaction and provides a social outlet for neighbors, regular customers, and the farmers themselves. Farmer's markets are an integral component for the revitalization of community spirit. 

Stimulate local economy 

The regeneration of markets brings more traffic and sales to the surrounding businesses, a trend supported by feedback from retailers located in areas adjacent to markets, which indicates that turnover increases on market days. 

About Rory Brown (Charleston, SC): After spending the first 40 years of his life in the United States, Rory Brown decided to focus on the quality of life and began living internationally. He now spends his time in Lake Como, Italy, Sydney, Australia, Charleston, South Carolina, and Kauai, Hawaii. His appreciation for simple health food that embraces local traditions of excellence has earned him credit among farm-to-table communities everywhere he goes. 

Brown began his career as a technologist and has always focused on healthy lifestyle choices. His well-researched lifestyle writing has increasingly focused on living life to the fullest each day throughout the world.

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