Farmers markets: As fresh as it gets

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tis the season for farmers markets and fresh produce. Local farmers markets are opening for the season and soon these spaces will be overflowing with the bounty of local gardens and farms. Last Friday, the newly opened Washington City Market held its grand opening. On Saturday, the Washington Harbor District Alliance will open its Farmers and Artisans Market for the season.

Both provide opportunities for area residents to buy fresh, local produce. This has a twofold impact of helping growers supplement their incomes and consumers supplement their diets with nutritious fruits and vegetables.

But why eat local? A few reasons come to mind.

  1. It builds community. Shopping at a farmers market is an opportunity to meet the person directly responsible for growing your food. It gives you a chance to shake their hand, look them in the eye and make a real connection with the food on your plate.
  2. It supports our neighbors. Buying your food from a farmers market provides economic opportunities for growers right here in Beaufort County. According to a study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average farmer receives only 10 cents from each food dollar spent on in the U.S. Buying from a farmers market cuts out the middleman and allows growers to put more money in their pockets for their hard work.
  3. It’s good for the planet. According to Worldwatch Institute, an environmental policy research organization, food often travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to table. While it is impossible to grow some products in North Carolina, many crops currently imported over long distances are perfectly suited to this climate.

These are just some of the many reasons to visit your local farmers market. The WHDA Farmers and Artisans Market, located on the corner of East Water and South Bonner Streets, is open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through October. For more information, click to The Washington City Market, located at 532 North Market Street, is open to the public most days of the week. For more information, call 252-945-5355.