When I was a child, from as far back as I can remember, I spent many summers on my maternal grandparent's working farm. Each morning, I'd see my grandfather in the fields with his tractor and plow gathering a ripe harvest of tobacco, sweet potatoes, pole beans, watermelon, and more, while my grandmother collected eggs from her coop. These experiences were the catalyst for the work I do today, as well as the relationships I have built with local farmers and those in the farmer marketplace.
America’s Farmers’ Markets are great sources of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. Farmers markets are important for many reasons. Foremost, they are important because they are the critical component in rebuilding local food economies. By providing a cost-effective, retail sales opportunity for local food producers, farmers markets help make farming profitable. By making farming profitable, we preserve farmland and farmers and have encouraged a new generation to take-up farming.
Farmers markets are cost-effective for farmers because they provide brief periods of intense retail sales with low fixed costs. Unlike grocery stores or public markets, farmers markets ask their customers to come at the same time – for brief periods of time -once or twice a week; thereby minimizing the retail labor cost for the farmer.
There are just a few reasons I support local farmers. Not only do I support local farmers markets and urban farming, but I am also committed to procuring fresh produce from these markets to provide my customers a true "Farm-to-Table" experience. Learn more about Sweet Water Foundation's work in Chicago's urban community, its sustainable farming processes, and hydroponic farming systems.
Click HERE to visit the National Farmers Market Directory. Download our FREE Farmers Market Guide and National Farmers Markets Accepting SNAP Benefits (by State).
NOTE: Take a walk with me through Sweet Water Foundation's Perry Market Farming District in Englewood, Chicago, IL. Filmed prior to the pandemic.
Learn how to make a refreshing summer treat, our Mango-Lime-Mint Sorbet and our uber-popular Collard Green Burritos from produce fresh-picked from the Sweet Water Foundation urban farming community.
Regina Thomas Dillard is a certified chef, founder of Inner Sanctum Wellness, Regina Cooks Culinary School and the author of FEED: Living Food Recipes to be Made and Eaten with Love. Available softcover, digital download and Amazon.