In Colorado, and I’m sure every else too, farmers’ markets are growing in numbers. More and more consumers (and that is who really needs to make the change in eating demands) at choosing ‘Local Fresh Food’. THIS IS AWESOME! We in America, are in danger. Think about this. Where does OUR food come from? Most is NOT ‘Local’ for sure, and a lot of it is shipped in from other countries. We NEED ‘Local Food Systems’.
Better yet, grow your own. Save money, have fun, and live better. One more little thought. Most people go to work to earn money to ‘buy’ what they need from others. Right. Right. If the combined taxes, including all of the ‘hidden’ taxes, comes to around 45% (please, if you KNOW the correct amount, leave a comment and tell us) , and the food you and your family produce and consume yourselves is not added to your income (which if it was added, would raise your income level and MORE taxes) and is not taxed itself, so, 1) you would not need as much money to live on, 2) and is worth more then if you just bought it, because you are getting it with tax free dollars, so to speak, your labor, instead of from your income.
Anyway, just food for thought. This isn’t about money. It’s about Farmer’s Markets.
It could be the economy or it could be the number of visitors who flock to them, but farmers’ markets are finding renewed popularity with consumers and nearby businesses.
Since 2000, when a mere 30 markets dotted Colorado, the number has almost quadrupled to 110, according to state agriculture officials.
The resurgence was clear on June 6 as nearly 800 people descended on the debut of the market in the Highland community, only to be bested the following weekend with 1,000 visitors, said Kristin Morley, president of Highland United Neighbors Inc., the market sponsor.
The customer flow is not only good for the 30 vendors of food, produce and hand-made items, but for the Highland businesses around the market too.
“We have the ability to cross-promote (markets) with the restaurants and shops here,” Morley said of the Saturday marketplace on the 1500 block of Boulder Street. “We’ve got a lot of local businesses that are sponsoring the farmers’ markets, and people that have never come to the Highlands before are now coming.”
Farmers’ market customers seem to trust a product they purchase directly from the farmer who produced it, according to Loredana Ottoborgo, a vendor and market organizer for the Belmar, Evergreen and Frisco farmers’ markets.
“People know that there’s better nutrition in locally grown produce,” said Ottoborgo, a cheese and pesto vendor for 16 years. “I’ve had such great response from customers that are happy supporting someone from their community.”
And, Ottoborgo said she relies on customer feedback about the ingredients in her weekly batches of pesto.
The farmers’ market at Belmar seems to be weathering the economy just fine, said Brittany Maynor, assistant marketing manager of the shopping district there.
Alaska Drive at Belmar was purposely made wider than other streets in the community, with additional electrical outlets to accommodate events such as farmers’ markets, she said.
It’s helped, too. Maynor estimates customer traffic at the Belmar market has jumped 50 percent since 2005, up to about 1,000 people each weekend.
customer traffic at the Belmar market has jumped 50 percent since 2005, up to about 1,000 people each weeken
“In general, people like to attend them even if they don’t have the intention of spending a lot of money,” she said. “But with customer traffic comes those who are willing to spend money too.”
Tim Larsen, senior international marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, said the Boulder farmers’ market easily racks up a million dollars in sales each year.
“Farmers are finding it’s a better way to capture the consumer dollar,” he said.
Sara Castellanos: 303-954-1381 or email@example.com
We are thinking of making a listing by state and county, of all the farmer’s markets. To make is easier for people to find one in their locations. It would also help to promote yours if you are involved with one. Let us know, by leaving a comment, whether or not you would like this.
If you are a farmer involved with CSA’s or on farm sales, we would include you to.
Thomas John Fisher