In a society that is becoming more environmentally-conscious, nearly everyone has probably heard something about the local food movement or farmers markets. Farmers markets are markets where local farmers are able to sell their goods (usually produce, meat, and even crafts) to the public, and are able to cut out the middle-men (such as distributors, transporters, and grocery stores). Because the middle man has been cut out, farmers are able to sell the freshest produce directly to you. Most produce sold at farmers markets are picked at the peak of freshness—and spend less time ripening on a store shelf. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return on their produce sales, therefore supporting small family farms that may be struggling to compete with enormous agribusiness companies. The food sold at farmers markets are also true to season, which means you will be able to eat the foods that reflect the local season—meaning you’ll be able to eat sweet peaches and corn in the summer and crisp apples and pumpkins in the autumn. In addition to all of these benefits, the transportation associated with local food is cut dramatically. It is estimated that food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get from farm to plate—meaning large amounts of natural resources such as water and fossil fuels are used to transport this food (CUESA). By traveling much shorter distances to reach consumers, local foods are able to cut usage of these natural resources as well as the potential pollution associated with their usage. For any Hokies interested in joining the local food movement, the Blacksburg Farmers Market is conveniently located in Downtown Blacksburg (100 Draper Rd SW), and is open on Saturdays from 8 am-2 pm and on Wednesdays from 2 pm-7 pm.
"10 Reasons to Support Farmers Markets." CUESA. Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2014.
Blacksburg’s Solar Farmers Market (USA). Digital image. Solaripedia. Solaripedia, 2011. Web. 15 Sept. 2014.