The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proclaimed Aug. 3-9 as National Farmers’ Market Week. There are more than 4,000 farmers’ markets across the country.
Locally, we’re lucky - the Toledo Farmers’ Market is located downtown and at Westgate and there are other markets in Genoa, Lake Township, Perrysburg and several other locations throughout Northwest Ohio.
There’s a lot to like about farmers’ markets – fresh local vegetables and fruits picked at their peak; colorful cut flowers and herbs to add color and flavor to the table and the pot; baked goods; fresh eggs and poultry; and handmade local crafts.
Now is the time to check out your local market to see what farmers have to offer and to talk to the person who grew it for his or her insight.
Food that is fresh and local fits right in with the national dialog on food and the importance of cutting travel distance to the plate, and knowing where and how the food was grown. Consumers who purchase locally not only help support the farmers in the area, but they also help the local economy, since the money stays in the area.
Local foods have better flavor than the “well-traveled” varieties sold in grocery stores. Taste a warm-from the field fresh tomato and compare it to one from the store; a Northwest Ohio tomato wins hands down.
So come on down to the market – any market.
The sights and smells of Mother Nature’s bounty await those who look for fresh produce.
And remember…buy from the guy who grew it!
Editor’s note: The Genoa Farmer’s Market is held Saturdays through Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Genoa Town Hall parking lot. The market features homegrown local produce, beef, pork, eggs, baked goods and handcrafted items. Vendors are welcome. To register as a local vendor, call Cindy Nolte at 419-855-0457 or the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce voice mail at 419-855-2001.