Sunday, August 5, 2012

Farmer's Market: Take #2

Have you heard?! Since 2000, when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) first proclaimed National Farmers Market Week, the number of farmers markets in the United States has grown 150%, from 2,863 in 2000 to 7,175 in 2011.

That’s a fun little fact, isn’t it?! So, why the increase? Well, that’s probably a better question for each individual farmers market attendee. Maybe they like to support their local farmers through rural renewal, engage through civic duty, promote food equity, or maybe they just really enjoy the yummy foods. Point is: farmers markets are economic "engines" and people can’t seem to get enough of them (at least that’s what I read when I saw that first statistic).

In developing countries, markets are often the sole livelihood of many farmers. And there are so many reasons why a farmer wouldn’t be able to get her crops to the market. Take your pick of washed out roads, droughts, diseased crops, etc. So, we wanna talk solutions. Rights-based solutions. How do we empower the farmer? How do we “lift” a community from poverty by giving them the power to self-sustain? And taking it one step further…how can we (here at home) help?

That’s the conversation we want to have with you. It’s a conversation because we want to hear your ideas. Back in June, we heard from attendees at the Southridge Des Moines Farmers Market. This last Thursday (8/2), we heard from market "go-ers” at the Historic Valley Junction Farmers Market in West Des Moines. 80 people signed our GROW pledge. That's 80 more people who are ready for a world without hunger - to be agents for change, "engines" for justice. We hear you telling us to set the table - our human family of 9 billion is on the way.

Amy shares Oxfam's message: 
Let's feed a world of 9 billion.

"Laying it out" for a market attendee.

Local musicians for the "Music 
in the Junction" series.

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