Northwest Minnesota Farmers Markets Return

Summer is here and the markets across the northwest region of Minnesota will once again localfoods.jpgoffer locally-grown, fresh produce and the hours of operation are now even more convenient for customers. The products are high quality and exceptionally fresh which appeals to many who are searching for a healthy option to feed themselves and their families.  Farmers markets are an integral part of the community/farm connection due to the increasing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. Customers can expect to find farm-fresh produce, baked goods, poultry, meats, eggs, honey, and plants.

The day, locations, and times of the markets within the rivers and prairie region can be located in the Minnesota Grown Directory custom cover page which are available at a community extension office. The information for various markets is also available for viewing on the Minnesota Grown website by clicking on the "farmers market" link or liking us on Facebook under Northwest Minnesota Farmers Market.

The direct distribution of products through farmers markets continues to increase in popularity across the country. Food in the United States travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to the kitchen table. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources, especially fossil fuels, which contributes to pollution, and creates excess trash with extra packaging. Much of this pollution could be reduced just by buying locally-grown food.

Today, there are nearly 4,800 farmers markets operating throughout the nation. Marketing food directly from producers to consumers in the food supply chain has many benefits. For consumers, direct distribution initiatives are providing people with locally grown, fresh, healthy and, in many cases, organic food at affordable prices. Through buying locally grown produce, consumers are giving their support to local producers as well as helping to revitalize rural economies. Creating markets where people can buy produce from local farmers and growers reduces the distance that food travels between producers and consumers, which in turn decreases global environmental pollution.

There are many benefits for consumers to purchase from farmers market. First is the freshness of the product, people want to have produce that is crisp and fresh.  Another important attribute is consumers are able to identify the source of the product which boosts the credibility of the market. They have the ability to pinpoint which farm the produce comes from which in turn makes them feel good about their purchase and know that they are supporting local farmers. Finally, many people want to support their local economy and see it thrive. Purchasing products from a farmers market is a very positive and perceptible way to sustain the local economy and put money back into the community.

Useful information can also  be found on the USDA's site:"Know your Farmer, Know your Food," which provides viewers with information regarding local foods. In addition, tune into Crookston's KROX 1260, Mahnomen's KRJM 101.5 FM, Ada's KRJB 106.5 FM, Grand Forks' KNOX 1310 to acquire information about the markets and stay connected to what is going on in northwestern Minnesota.

Watch for the Minnesota Grown Rivers and Prairies logo and we hope to see you at the farmers markets in this region.

Contact: Linda Kingery, 2900 University Ave Crookston, MN (218-281-8697) kinge002@umn.edu

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