Thursday, June 9, 2016

Master Gardeners at the Farmers Markets by Ed Powers

Photo courtesy IA State Extension
Farmers Market time is here! June kicks off this great summer event across the state. Our Jefferson County Farmers Markets offer fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the local area as well as produce from other regions of the state (think Palisade peaches and Rocky Ford melons!). Many markets have morphed into outlets for crafters and cottage food producers as well as clothes, books and other items.

Jefferson County Master Gardeners at a Farmers Market

Farmers Markets have a long history:
  • The first market existed over 5000 years ago in Egypt when the farmers along the Nile brought their produce to sell.
  • Farmers Markets begain in the US in Boston in 1634.
By selling directly to consumers, Farmers Markets can offer farmers and vendors increased profit due to:
  • fewer transportation costs;
  • reduced handling costs;
  • minimal or no cost for refrigeration;
  • reduced time of produce in storage;
  • elimination of costs related to land, buildings, utilities.
Consumers perceive that produce from Farmers Markets is equal or better quality than produce available through food stores and retailers. In addition to offering locally grown, fresh produce, the markets provide an interactive, family-friendly event for many communities.

Jefferson County Master Gardeners are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2016! We have been serving the community at Farmers Markets since our first booth at Southwest Plaza in 1981. This summer, we will staff educational booths at markets in Arvada, Golden, Southwest Plaza and Evergreen. We provide research-based information for community members in the metro area, foothills and mountains. 

Please stop by and visit our booth at a Farmers Market this summer! We look forward to helping you with your gardening challenges.