Agriculture an important part of our community

Published 11:05 pm Sunday, March 12, 2017

Agriculture has long been an economic staple in Washington and throughout Beaufort County. You may be asking: how is agriculture associated with the Washington Harbor District Alliance? Well, it is a part of our downtown experience on Saturday mornings from April through October. Your WHDA has supported and promoted it for many reasons that will be discussed.

Farmers’ markets across America have seen a growth spurt in recent years. The USDA has listed 8,144 markets, of which Washington is listed. Markets have proven to help in the economic and social vitality of our citizenry. At a time when neighbors may not know one another, they can mix and mingle in the fresh air and connect with friends and community, making this one of the biggest assets offered by a market. Rather than being in a large store, a person can shop for goods that are locally grown in the open air. Shopping can then be a pleasure rather than a chore.

We at the WHDA have always asked you to shop local. What better way to do so than to shop for produce at the Farmers’ Market? Family farmers need our support, too.

They have a hard time competing in the market place with big corporations but will get a better return for their produce and a fighting chance at the Farmers’ Market.

The produce provided is as fresh as it gets and can ripen in the fields before being brought directly to you. You can then put a face with the product you purchase. This helps make farming profitable for future generations.

Lastly, our Farmers’ Market can be a community hub on Saturday mornings. It is a place you can bring your children while shopping for fresh produce from our area.

People can even share recipes and sometimes even sample produce. Did you know that normal store-bought food travels an average of 1,500 miles before you taste it?

Not at the Farmers’ Market. Farmers are even willing to share their recipes, and we all know how good cooks most farm families are. All of this makes for a great shopping experience only found at your local Farmers’ Market in historic Washington beside the beautiful Pamlico River.

The first weekend of April, the WHDA will open its Farmers’ Market, and we hope our citizens will support this year’s market. You will be supporting the truest sense of entrepreneurship in Washington. It is a shopping treat and a chance to connect with your community and friends while supporting our farmers and enjoying freshly grown garden to home produce.

If you wish to participate, please call the WHDA office for more information, and you will be welcomed, as always. We invite all farmers to give us a chance to display and promote your product. Shoppers, please come and enjoy the fresh air with your friends and neighbors on the waterfront in historic Washington, and if you have time … take a walk with the H-Rob.

Harold Robinson is the director of development at the Washington Harbor District Alliance.