Vegetables and fruits are good for your health, make for a well-balanced diet and provide nutrients that cannot be found anywhere else, but buying that produce from a local farmer’s market could have a significant impact on the local economy.
According to a 2010 study by the US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service compared local producers and commercial producers to find that the majority of the money earned in the local market stays in the local economy.
“The market here has a great effect because we sell pure, fresh and home-grown. What we don’t grow ourselves, we buy from local farmers and people that come to buy here know that,” said Ewing, Virginia, resident Bobbie Littrell.
Littrell sells honey, molasses, sauerkraut, canned vegetables and fruits, walnuts, pecans, jams and jellies at the Harrogate Farmer’s Market. She has been selling her goods there for 16 years.
“People, customers, are really good to us and we’re really good to them. We really provide a great service to the community, plus you get to go home with some good stuff to eat,” said Littrell.
A 2011 Economic Research Report from the USDA found that local fruit and vegetable farms which sell to regional or local markets are able to employ more workers as opposed to their nationally-marketing counterparts. This means that purchasing locally grown produce helps job creation in the local market and could provide job opportunities for area families.
Harrogate Farmer’s Market has been around for 40 years and while many of the faces have changed, the value and quality have stayed the same.
Vendors also sell beans, corn, eggs, rhubarb, peaches, tomatoes and watermelons, to name a few. Littrell also welcomes gardeners to bring their extra goods to the market to sell to vendors for resale to the public.
The farmer’s market is located in the Harrogate Methodist Church parking lot from March until Thanksgiving. Vendors are stationed, selling their tasty goods on Tues, Thurs. and Sat. from dawn until dark or until they sell out.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.