The hashtag #FarmersMarketsAreEssential shares the theme of this year's Farmers Market Week celebration. Markets across the nation will celebrate August 1 through August 7 by focusing on the importance of local produce growers and vendors in community food systems.
The Covid-19 quarantine revealed weaknesses in the American food supply system and showed consumers the value in supporting farmers markets. Many areas of Louisiana are considered "food deserts" due to the distance from residences to retail grocery stores. Farmers markets are an important way to bring fresh produce to consumers in smaller, isolated markets.
Farmers markets also have a large impact on community economies. Research shows that for each dollar spent at a farmers market, a corresponding seventy-five cents or more is spent in nearby retail stores. Adding a farmers market to a town is a "win-win" for existing businesses, produce vendors, and consumers. Marcella Vinson, the volunteer organizer of the Downtown St. Joseph Farmers Market in Tensas Parish sees the economic impact. Vinson says, "On the days the market is open, people are out. The street and the shops are full."
August is a great time to visit a Louisiana farmers market to sample tomatoes, melons, and beans, which are at the peak of freshness. Get out and support your local farmers market, an essential part of the Louisiana food system.
Membership and participation is activities and events are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, veteran status or disability. If you have a disability that requires special accommodation for your participation, please contact us at 318-649-2663. The LSU AgCenter and LSU provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture