Back in Season: ASU Farmer’s Market to reopen May 5
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 16:05
The ASU Regional Farmers’ Market has proven to be popular among both growers and shoppers, with fresh and locally grown food the market will open for the season on Saturday, May 5.
If you’ve never been to a farmer’s market, imagine an avenue of folding tables brimming with vibrant vegetables, fruit and spilling melt-in-your-mouth local products like fresh baked bread.
Located at the corner of Aggie Road and Stadium Blvd., the farmer's market was created to give the small farmer and craftsperson a local marketplace to sale their products.
Earl Duffel, the ASU Regional Farmer’s Market Manager said, “The market is more than providing the farmers with an income, but to offer the community an opportunity to buy locally-grown and crafted items.”
In a highly processed, dollar-menu world, the concept behind farmer’s markets is to get eaters in touch with those who produce their food.
“The market draws a diverse group of customers, for low-income shoppers looking for cheaper produce to the high-minded, looking to support local agriculture and eco-friendly food,” Duffel said.
The food at the market travels a shorter distance to get to your kitchen than the food on your grocery store’s shelves, which significantly reduces its (and your) carbon footprint.
“By supporting your local farmers market, you are pumping money in to the local economy,” Duffel said.
According to the U.S. Department of Agricultural Marketing Services, the number of farmers’ markets in the U.S. has increased from 1,755 in 1994 to more than 7,000 in 2011.
It is important to note that farmers’ markets represent a relatively small piece of food retailers. In 2008 there were roughly 85,200 grocery stores nationwide--which means there are still more than 15 grocery stores for each farmers’ market in the U.S.
Duffel attributes the growing popularity of farmers’ markets to increased awareness about climate change and public health.
Junior English major of Jonesboro, Bailey Gambill, will be one of many shopping at the farmer's market when it opens.
“I love supporting the community. There is such a wide variety of produce from veggies, fruit to homemade jams,” said Gambill.
May 5 will be the first day for the farmer's market to open for the upcoming season and will be open every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. until October 31.
Expected items for opening day are flowers, honey, meat (beef & pork), farm-fresh eggs, fresh ground coffee, fried pies along with handmade crafts.