Food Independence at the Farmers’ Market
In between grilling up local goodness and taking in fireworks, I always reflect on my personal independence around the 4th of July. Am I marching to the beat of my own drum, or am I walking to the songs of others?
This summer, we all have an opportunity to reclaim quite a bit of independence when it comes to food. In 1900, 65 cents of every dollar spent on food went to a farmer. In 2016, that number was 15 cents. The 40 cents is a loss of our food independence to shipping, processing, marketing, and other distant factors. We’ve become so dependent on the cloudy unknown.
Farmers’ markets, though, are sunshine for our food independence. Here are five rays from the Downtown Milford Farmers’ Market:
1] Distance: Produce sold at our market is grown at farms within a 40-mile radius. Much of it is grown in Milford! We’re not depending on a complex supply chain system for arugula to make a thousand-mile journey.
2] Information: The farmers at our market are experts on what they are offering. Have a conversation with our farmers about how their food was raised, how it can be cooked, and its nutritional impacts.
3] Freshness: Most of the produce sold at our market is picked within a day or two of the market. Some of it is picked that morning! We’re not depending on preservatives, packaging, and refrigeration to keep zucchini from shriveling.
4] Uniqueness: Heirloom garlic cloves, watermelon radishes, and habanero mango turkey sausages are just some of the finds at this season’s market with so much imaginative potential. Create a little independence with a new signature dish!
5] Community: Farmers markets provide a direct exchange of money for goods. The dollars exchanged are destined to stay local. Our local community becomes more financially dependent on itself, and more independent of distant influences.
Grow your food independence at a farmers’ market this summer. Our tents are up every Saturday morning, 9:00 to 1:00, 58 River Street, downtown Milford.