I didn’t grow up in the Southwest so comparing and contrasting the ways of life in the Southwest as compared to the Midwest is an obvious and inescapable thing for me to do.
Growing up with certain social norms and ways of life is what forms most people’s opinions on how life should be lived, especially when those ways of life make sense and are beneficial for communities and towns all across the country.
Farmer’s markets are obviously inconceivable for certain cities and towns in America, but for communities that have a strong presence of local agriculture I think it’s a bit of a no-brainer.
My hometown now has 2 farmer’s markets a week in the same location on the same days of the week. When they first started a farmer’s market it was only once or twice a month and most people were unaware of it because the market organizers didn’t do much in the way of marketing it or advertising when they would be setting up and where.
In the last several years though, the organizers have gotten more organized and have put together a more concerted effort to market themselves and let people know when and where through advertising. It’s now and event that the entire town looks forward to and is always packed, rain or shine. It’s extremely beneficial to local farms and farmers and the money generated stays within the locale and stimulates more economic growth. Supporting local endeavors has been proven to boost local economies and holds back big box corporate food entities from overtaking and dominating local economies.
Having grown up accustomed to a large focus on supporting local farmers and local production, it seems rather strange to me that places like Phoenix don’t do the same considering the recent downturn in the local economy. Phoenix has mostly been monopolized by large corporate food industry and it is rare to see farmer’s markets with the same kind of presence as in other parts of the country.
Arizona’s climate is very conducive for growing many different types of fruits and vegetables. It is best known for its citrus production and is actually the highest producer of citrus fruit in the U.S., but it is not limited to just citrus fruits. Apples, peaches, pears, plums, figs, blackberries, blueberries are just some examples of other fruits that share in the growing season in Arizona, particularly in the desert regions like Phoenix.
With all of this local produce being grown, it makes me really wonder why there isn’t more of a push to have the majority of this produce sold locally first before shipping it elsewhere. It’s crazy to me when I go to the local grocery and see fruit and vegetables that are labeled “Grown in Mexico”. All that time and expenditure of resources wasted shipping locally grown food to other parts of the nation and the world when it could be allocated on a local level to stock local markets, particularly farmer’s markets. It makes no sense to me.
I’ve always been a firm believer in supporting local markets, and not just of the food industry variety. Support local in every way possible and then whatever surplus there is left over can be sold to other regions.
More Farmer’s Markets please!!!!