There has been an increasing growth in farmers markets across the US, especially in smaller towns in southern California like Downey and Norwalk. The USDA reports the number of registered farmers’ markets increased by 2.3% from 2015 to 2016 and that’s just the ones listed in the National Farmers Market Directory.
A Farmer’s market is known to have locally grown vendors selling fresh organic produce. Most of the food found in other stores can be highly processed, added with hormones or just have genetic modifications. Practices like this have a negative effect on human health in general. However, many farmers to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable resources, and picking the freshest organically grown fruits and vegetables.
Some of the benefits a farmers’ market include returning money back into the community and local economies. While the majority of chain supermarkets money goes elsewhere. Farmers also exemplify a traditional form of self-employment as business ownership.
Most stands are owned and operated by locals or carry local products.
Jimmy Castillo, a Norwalk native for 15 years, carries a selection of berries at the Norwalk Farmers’ Market every Tuesday morning. He “picks” from a small berry farm not too far from the area and sells to other local farmers’ markets.
As an organic produce vendor, Castillo never relies on a single location or employer for a source of income. The increase in self-employment and contract work are both moves away from centralization, and growth in self-employment is one of the primary economic catalysts feeding the increase in farmers’ markets today.
A local farmers’ market is a community hub and a perfect place to get a taste of small-town life in the midst of a big city. Plus, fresh produce also means better health for all families.