Throughout Vermont, and the entire country, we're celebrating the 13th Annual National Farmers' Market week. Why is this worth noting? Well, for starters, the USDA reports that there are 7,864 farmers' markets in the United States, with Vermont taking credit for more than 70 of them. These small farmers deserve some praise for their hard work in supplying us with fresh, healthy foods - especially here in the Green Mountain state. Did you know that Vermont was rated number one for local food availability in the Strolling of the Heifers Locavore index and that we also lead in direct farmer to consumer sales? Pretty impressive if you ask me. According to Chuck Ross, Secretary of the Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, "Vermont is a national leader in community-based agriculture. Our leadership in institutional partnerships, Farm to School programs, and the Farm to Plate initiative serve as a national model for best practices in the food system. ”
So, take some time this week to visit and support the farmers of your local market. Check out the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont's website for a state wide list of markets. In Rutland, our market is located in Depot Park on Tuesdays from 3 - 6 and Saturdays from 9 - 2.
Even Governor Shumlin attended the Waterbury market this past weekend to show his support. "Farmers' markets reflect the best of Vermont - hard-working people, a healthy lifestyle, and strong communities," Shumlin said.
Info from:Vermont Agency of Agriculture