I Heart My Farmers' Market | Civil Eats

I Heart My Farmers’ Market

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In recent years, farmers’ markets have flourished as consumers look outside the corporate, industrial food system to feed their families. We have an organic garden on the White House lawn, and in backyards everywhere, small gardens are nearly ready to bear Mother Nature’s summer fruit. The warm weather is finally here, and around the country farmers’ markets are in full swing. Strawberries, corn, pole beans and apricots have arrived in most places, and soon, tomatoes and figs will also find their place on the dinner table. This summer, two different organizations are celebrating the American farmers’ market tradition and raising awareness through summer-long contests.


Love Your Farmers’ Market

Want to help win a little cash for your market? Care2, the largest online community for green and healthy living, and Local Harvest, America’s most popular website for finding food grown close to home, have joined together to raise awareness for local foods, family farms, and community farmers’ markets.

“People across the country are rediscovering the benefits of local food,”  said Erin Barnett, Director of LocalHarvest.org. “Not only is the food at your farmers’ market fresher, tastier and better for the environment, it’s also good for your local economy. By supporting farmers’ markets, we support family farmers and help them stay in business.”

The market with the most votes nationwide will win $5,000 and four runners-up will each be awarded $1,750. Throughout the duration of the contest, Care2 will sponsor a weekly prize of $250 for one participating market chosen at random.

As of this writing, Flint, Michigan’s market is in the number one spot, with two North Carolina markets in the top five.

You have until September 22 to vote for your local farmers’ market. Invite your friends to join to make sure your favorite market takes home the grand prize! The top ten participants who recruit the most friends will take home $50. Keep track of your market’s progress to ensure it wins on the contest’s website.

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Our own contributor and editor Jen Dalton has partnered with Love Your Farmers’ Market to create seven cooking episodes as the Farm Fresh Cook. She teaches the ease of making simple, fresh dishes with farmers’ market purchases. Pay close attention to the videos for a peek into Anya Fernald‘s fabulous kitchen.

America’s Favorite Farmers’ Market

American Farmland Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting our nation’s strategic agricultural resources, is looking for three of America’s most treasured farmers’ markets to promote the connection between local food and farmland. Participants have until August 8 to vote their market into the top three. One small, one medium, and one large market will be crowned the winner and receive reusable market bags for local shoppers.

“Farmers’ markets not only supply the great seasonal foods we love,” says Julia Freedgood, managing director of AFT’s Growing Local initiative, “they give consumers a way to understand where their food is coming from and foster a closer relationship between farmers and communities.”

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This summer, get out the vote, recruit your friends and shop at your local farmers’  market. Help keep your dollars local!

Layla Azimi worked as the Communication Coordinator for Slow Food Nation, the first event of its kind, which drew 85,000 people to San Francisco in hopes of building a healthier, more sustainable food system. Co-founder of Kitchen Table Talks, she lives in Napa Valley where she is learning to perfect her marmalade and jam-making skills and planting her first vegetable garden. Read more >

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