Go Fresh, or Go Home? A Look Into Local Farmers Markets

Back by popular demand, Oconee County Farmers Market announced they will be opening their doors on Saturdays and Tuesdays.  But will  a locally grown apple a day, keep the doctor away?

If these local chicks could talk, they’d say you aren’t paying for more nutrition at a local farmers market, but you are paying for freshness.

“First of all a lot of vegetables will lose their nutritional value, the earlier they are picked and the longer they have to travel.  Which is most of your grocery- store- bought fruits and vegetables,” says Annie Kennedy, a board member of the Oconee Farmers Market and also, a local farmer.

And while the debate between organic foods remains unresolved, one thing is for sure.  Home grown food, is picked faster, and delivered to your dinner table sooner.

“I think consistently, you are going to probably see a little bit better freshness and taste.  In terms of its greater nutritional value, I think the jury is still out on that,” says George Boyhan a professor at the college of agriculture.

Local farmers markets also offer a sense of community.  Rather than going to a grocery store to buy meats from far away locations, local farmers markets allow you to get a know your farmer, become friends with your farmer, and buy your meat from someone you know.

“For most of us, as small farmers, we tend to handle our animals more humanly, but there’s also the benefits of grass-fed Angus or beef,” says Kennedy.

According to Kennedy, also says that local farmers care about their animals.  These farmers believe in uncruel animal treatment, safe feeding practices and healthy animal environments.  And their emphasis on humanity and freshness, hit the right chord with some customers.  Last year, the Saturday market saw over a thousand people, and this year is expected to be equally, if not more popular.

Geetha Parachuru, Reporting.




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