Morgan County Farmers Market Association – Connecting People Through Food
Written By: Robin Reid, Storyteller/Content Manager
A Farmers Market does more than sell fresh produce, support the local economy, and promote healthier lifestyles. It’s a place for community to happen as people interact and connect with each other.
“I value healthy living and community building as well as serving an organization that promotes these values. The Farmers Market can grow into a place where people feel more engaged and plugged into a community they love to live in, whether it’s being a vendor, volunteering or simply enjoying the atmosphere,” said Morgan County Farmers Market Association President Jan Hoffman.
The Community Foundation of Morgan County (CFMC) has supported the Morgan County Farmers Market Association (MCFMA) as a fund of CFMC. Donations can be made online at www.cfmconline.org.
Farmers Market starts in May – Martinsville and Mooresville locations
There are two Farmers Market locations. You can visit the Main Connection (front lawn) at Main and Indiana Streets in Martinsville and Friends Church (parking lot) at Monroe and Main Streets, Mooresville.
You can shop the Martinsville market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning May 11 through September 28. In Mooresville, the market is open Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., starting May 7 through September 24.
“I love the farmers market because I enjoy supporting small, local businesses. I also believe in providing access to fresh, nutritious foods to our community,” Hoffman added.
Why shop at a Farmers Market? Here are several benefits to consider:
- Locally grown foods are often pesticide and preservative free. Shopping locally means your food hasn’t been transported across country, requiring added chemicals to keep food fresh as possible.
- Food safety is improved because there are fewer hands involved, reducing the risk of contamination before food reaches your kitchen.
- Eating and shopping locally protect farmland. Without small scale farms, agricultural properties are at risk of being sold and developed into commercial or industrial use. Plus, animals and birds have places to live and thrive.
- Keeps money in the community as people shop in their area and help local farmers and vendors be sustainable and successful. A Market allows assists farmers by avoiding extra transportation and distribution costs.
- Eating locally grown foods improves nutrition. Why? There’s a lack of chemical use, greater freshness, and you’re eating seasonally, meaning flavors are fuller and taste better. In addition, you’re more likely to consume healthier proteins, veggies, fruits and whole grains rather than processed and packaged foods.
Local farmers and vendors offer something for everyone
“Our talented and hard-working vendors provide such a wide variety of items. Produce vendors bring us delicious carrots, onions, tomatoes, corn, squash, beans, peas, apples, pears, peaches and more every year,” said Hoffman. “We also have several meats and poultry vendors along with eggs, fresh baked bread, jams, fresh roasted coffee beans, and honey.”
There is something for everyone at the Farmers Market. In addition to food items, shoppers will also find hand-poured candles, soaps, lotions, jewelry, quilts, home-sewn clothing, purses, and more.
Families will find fun activities, such as making crafts, for the kids to do while mom and/or dad are shopping.
Nonprofits can also participate in the Farmers Markets to promote the services they offer in the community.
According to Hoffman, 25 vendors signed up for this year’s Summer Markets. She expects more people will want to participate after the markets open in May. MCFMA membership fee is $20/annually. For details, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farmers Market provides food, fun and connections
“I get to see the smile and shake the hand of the person who grew the food that I put on the dinner table for my family. In turn, the vendor I bought the food from can provide for their family because of the business I, and other customers, give to them,” Hoffman added.
MCFMA hosts a Farmers Market Nutrition Program in July for single parents and families served by WIC (Women, Infants and Children Program). The local WIC office provides three $8 vouchers for clients to spend on fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. MCFMA offers up to three $5 bundles of “Market Bucks” to give WIC clients a little more money to spend. WIC vouchers can only be spent on produce, while “Market Bucks” can be used for anything at the market such as eggs, meat or honey.
“This program is very successful as WIC beneficiaries love the chance to buy fresh, local foods from our markets,” Hoffman added.
You can be a part of this community connecting initiative by helping MCFMA continue its seasonal and holiday Farmers Markets. Donate online today at www.cfmconline.org.
CFMC’s mission is to connect donors and their charitable giving with our evolving community needs in order to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations through impact grant making. The vision of CFMC is to be the philanthropic leader and a catalyst in order to maximize available resources in our community.