This week in our Eat Local Y’all campaign, you can visit farmers markets to help Foster Sustainable Farming!
Sustainability is a word that gets thrown around all too often these days. Simply put, sustainability just means long-lasting, right?. Of course, it’s much more complex than that, but ultimately, simplicity can help us focus and steer ourselves better .
What are some of the things that our farmers do to build nurture the earth and build a lasting relationship with the environment?
Organic Farming Practices
Although not all of the farms you’ll find at farmers markets are certified organic (certification is expensive!), almost all of the farmers farm with organic practices in mind. This means no usage of artificial pesticides and fertilizers that can heavily impact the environment while relying on ecological processes (like composting, cover cropping, and providing habitat for beneficial organisms) to reinvigorate the land. Animals aren’t pumped with antibiotics or growth hormones, and in general, organic methods rely on a more natural approach to agriculture that can benefit land and humans alike.
When you go to the market, you’ll find a wide variety of produce that you won’t find anywhere else. At a single farmer’s stand, you may find tomatoes, beans, peppers, squash, and even flowers. Even within those categories, you’ll find multiple different varieties: you’ll find purple peppers sitting next to white peppers, and you’ll even find pints of cherry tomatoes filled with 3–4 different colored tomatoes. Our farmers don’t just farm one crop— just like the diversity in all ecosystems, the farms represent an abundance of interrelated life.
Whether it’s visiting classrooms or hosting field trips to their farms, our farmers help support agricultural and food-based education. When youth grow up with a love and awareness of fresh food, how it’s grown, and their relationship with the earth, they become champions of the environment and the health of their communities.
Not only that, our farmers are always ready to educate and teach adults about what’s in season, how to eat something, nutritional benefits, and in general, giving people a better idea of the food they eat.
Farmers and farmers markets can transform the space that they’re in. The East Atlanta Farmers Market started when farmers and other local food champions banded together to create a space that can help connect their communities with fresh and healthy produce. Now, the space for the EAV Market is renovated lot that includes benches, play areas for children, and a learning garden. An empty lot has become a communal gathering space, and it happens all over Atlanta. Markets aren’t simply a place to buy food; they’re places for locals and non-locals alike to gather, have fun, and learn from each other.
Win prizes when you purchase from farmers this week!
Farmers help support environmental and cultural sustainability in many, many more ways than we just listed, so this week come out and talk to your farmer about all the great things they do.
If you spend just $10 at a farmer’s booth this week, you’ll get a raffle ticket that you can drop off at the information booth. Every thirty minutes our market coordinators and volunteers will announce a winner, or you leave your email if you can’t stay for the raffle!
See you at market!