You know who your doctor is, your dentist and the folks who fix your car, so why shouldn’t you know the farmers who grow your food? There are hundreds of farmers markets all over Oregon, and increasingly they are sprouting up in the workplace. It’s the ultimate convenience.
Worksite farmers markets are a wonderful place to gather as a community, take a healthy break in the day, grocery shop, enjoy lunch and connect with the folks who produce your food. Worksite farmers markets at hospital settings are leading the way to a healthier, more prosperous Oregon.
Farmers markets increase availability and accessibility of Oregon fruits and vegetables. For optimum health, adults need to eat about four to five cups of fruits and vegetables per day, depending on sex, age and activity level. Children generally need to eat four cups of fruits and vegetables each day. An easy way to get to the amount of produce you need to eat for health is to serve up half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Farmers markets are also helping to incubate new small and mid-sized food producers and many find the scale of worksite markets just the right fit. With the average age of farmers in Oregon at 57 years old and rising, there are lots of efforts to cultivate agripreneurs and engage new farmers and ranchers in the food production business.
Worksite farmers markets help new farmers get rooted in the basics of direct market business, and establish themselves. Worksite farmers markets tend to be a big enough market that farmers can make money, but not so big that a farmer just starting out would be overwhelmed and run out of product.
Farmers love to see the “regulars,” or those customers that come to their stand every week. Individual shoppers and bigger buyers frequent markets. For instance, many schools, restaurants, hospitals and cafés also buy food from farmers at farmers markets. Over time, farmers and shoppers build a unique relationship that enhances the customers’ understanding of the value of food and adds meaning to the growers’ livelihood.
Whether you visit a famers market at your workplace or on the weekends, take your family. In addition to fresh produce, many markets have entertainment, crafts, baked goods and special events. It’s a wonderful way to spend a few hours together and to explore new flavors and meet the people who grow your food.
To find a farmers market near you, visit inlocalwelove
. You can also search the Oregon Farm Direct
list of roadside/farm stands and farmers markets with farmers authorized to accept the seasonal Farm Direct Nutrition Program (Farm Direct) checks, also known as “Farmers’ Market coupons”, as well as WIC Fruit & Veggie Program vouchers.