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Farmers Market Week: Connecting Food Systems

It's National Farmers Market Awareness Week in the Gem State. Credit: Deborah C. Smith.
It's National Farmers Market Awareness Week in the Gem State. Credit: Deborah C. Smith.
August 4, 2015

BOISE, Idaho – This week marks National Farmers Market Week in Idaho, as proclaimed by Governor Butch Otter.

One goal of the week is to highlight the role markets play in local economies by keeping money in communities and strengthening local food systems.

Ariel Agenbroad with University of Idaho Extension says markets can be found in towns of all sizes, and there are even market food trucks to help get fresh, healthy food to those who can't attend, or afford, a regular market.

"The mobile market is either being brought to a place where there's a summer feeding program, or there's a food pantry or farmers market," she says. "Then looking at the times and dates that might be more convenient to working families."

There's also been a push to get markets to accept EBT cards, and many already do.

Denise Dixon, director of the Homedale Farmers Market, says the event establishes links between farmers and consumers, and between neighbors.

"We have a lot of people that come to buy their produce, but then they stick around and they talk and they laugh, and it's really become a wonderful community event," she says.

Agenbroad suggests scheduling a market visit when vacationing around the state.

"There are so many of these very grassroots, community-based, tiny markets all around the state, and they all deserve to be visited to support those local producers," she says. "Those are some of the best places to go during the summer."

A proclamation will be read in Boise today for Farmers Market Awareness Week, at a mobile market stop in a low-income neighborhood.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID