It’s time to make a post about the Farmer’s Market. I love going to the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market downtown.
And as we now all know, since being green has become so trendy, visiting Farmer’s Markets is the green thing to do. Your food doesn’t have to ride a plane from Chile or a truck from California, and thus contributes less to global warming. Most of the farmers there are a little more aware of the environment and use less pesticides or are all organic, if not certified, and for much cheaper prices than the grocery store. And fresher foods usually retain more nutrients and taste better.
For me, even if its the same price, I want to support the local farmer anyway.
The thing here is, however, that the Farmer’s Market in downtown Fayetteville is open on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 6:00, or sunset, or when the food runs out. That’s usually about 6 p.m.
It’s like the city wants to support them, but only just enough to say they have. I remember about 5 years ago when the Farmer’s Market down there it was on Saturday mornings. It was much less organized, smaller, and was at the corner where Festival Park now is– this was before Festival Park. But at least it was on Saturday!
The farmers were told that they would be get a place in the Festival Park area to have their markets on Saturday. But I guess that got nixed out of the plans along with other things. There’s been an issue about where to put the new art museum too.
So when I was still finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree at UNCP, Iwould pick my daughter up from the sitter at 5 and struggle to make it downtown to buy some local veggies before they ran out.
And I’ve talked to a few people around town too. Wednesday– and probably any week day for that matter– just isn’t very convenient for, I don’t know, everybody but a work at home mom. If you work during the day you can barely make it. If you work at night you’re probably getting ready to leave around those times.
One school teacher says she just can’t make it there after working all day when its not close to her home or work. Another mom has to pick up her kids and get them to their after school activities. And of course, people that get off at 5 or 6 have no chance.
If Fayetteville, the city, really wanted to support these farmers, they’d figure something out. The farmers were told that they can’t do Saturdays because of weekend events at Festival Park, so they were given the parking lot behind AIT on Wednesdays. But there are a lot more Saturdays without events than their are with them, so surely they could work something out. Maybe I should be senting this to the city council, not just out into cyberspace.
On Saturdays more people would come. The farmers would sell more. They’d make more. More farmers would join. It’d be great.
For someone like me, making that trip down there on Wednedays, even when I was getting home around 5, was important. I made the sacrifice because I believe in it strongly. But not everyone can do that.
Now that I stay at home, I plan my Wednesdays around the market– the kid’s museum is downtown, there are other shops and things to do down there. But I’m lucky. Not everyone can do that.
If we want people to get down there and make some positive-green-local-food-loving-change in Fayetteville, the city needs to show them real support and get the market on Saturdays.
Currently, just FYI, if you want to make it down there, you can get local meat, vegetables, baked goods, eggs, fruit in season, and sometimes crafts. But it’s not nearly as large as it could be.
And another note on why this Farmer’s Market is particularly important, and also one in a parking lot at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center on Thursday afternoons.
These are truly local farmers selling goods that have been grown probably less than an hour away. I hear many people in Fayetteville tell me they visit the Farmer’s Market on Reilly Rd or Bragg Blvd. I hate to be cynical here, but these are not Farmer’s Markets in the truest sense. These are people who have suppliers– the goods are still from several states away usually. This is why they sell mangos! There are no mango farms around Fayetteville.
It’s still good to support them over a big chain probably, but the vegetables they sell are of the same quality and distance away usually. Just something to consider.