Farmers Markets help the local economy

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 30, 2018

Farmers markets can provide a fun outlet for friends and family members to meet, go outdoors and buy fresh fruits and veggies, but they also serve a larger purpose by helping the local economy.

Thursday the Poplarville Farmers Market was full of people browsing the fresh produce, admiring handcrafted metal ornaments and drinking specialty lemonade.

By the end of the day, almost all of the vendors had sold out of their products.

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A great deal of time, effort and hard work goes into the production and growth of the products sold at farmers markets. Some venders sell their wares as a hobby.

They have spare time on their hands, so they create or produce items that they can sell to make a little side money.

However, many people who provide produce at farmers markets do so out of necessity.

They sell their products to make a living and provide for their families.

Many small farms don’t have the competitive edge that larger farms do.

Some choose to grow or process their produce organically, which can make it harder to find buyers.

Others have less land, so they don’t have the space required to grow enough produce to have a farm that can compete on a wide-scale. Farmers markets give these folks an opportunity to expand their business, increase awareness of their product and grow from there. Farmers markets also help to support the local economy. When buying from a nationwide produce chain, where does that money go?

Some of it stays in the local economy, but for the most part it goes back into that wide, over-arching business. Buying produce that is locally grown has a clear benefit.

The carrots, soap or lemonade was made by someone with a face, a name and a story you may have seen in your community.

Buying locally from a farmers market helps the farmer, the craftsman, the community and the local economy thrive.