EDITORIAL: Farmers markets need local support

Local economies: Last year, thousands flocked to their local farmers markets to buy local food, plants and other products, while generating millions in state revenue. (File photo)
Local economies: Last year, thousands flocked to their local farmers markets to buy local food, plants and other products, while generating millions in state revenue. (File photo)

Farm markets throughout Osceola County open for business soon, and scores of loyal shoppers and more casual browsers will make the trek to the parking lots and dedicated markets areas in Evart, Hersey, LeRoy, Reed City, and elsewhere to peruse and purchase, glance and gab, and generally open another summer season of down home shopping.

Farm market’s are a great idea, and a development that has wide public support.

We encourage readers and neighbors from community to take advantage of this resource and support not only local farmers and venders, but also the extended  local economy.

In a survey of carried out a few years back by the Project for Public Spaces it was revealed that 60 percent of farm market shoppers also visited nearby stores on the same day. Of those shoppers who visited other local stores, 60 percent said they visited those other stores only on days they visit the market.

A 2006 study on farmer’s markets in the Canadian province of Ontario also showed that an overwhelming majority of farm market customers also patronize at least one other nearby store on their way to or from the market, with many visiting two or more stores in the same trip.

A recent study conducted by Iowa State University for the Iowa Farmers’ Market Association reports that farmer’s markets in that state contributed up to $20 million in sales to the economy and created another $12 million in direct and indirect economic activity.

There is no reason whatsoever to believe that our local farmers have less a relative  impact on this community.

In fact, when we pair upcoming local music and art programs, and various festivals and local happenings throughout the summer with the Farm Market’s availability, we think area merchants, retail businesses, and service providers should be thrilled to once again host both these summertime happenings.

The number of people wandering, browsing, shopping, sitting, strolling, chatting, and just enjoying the smalltown ambiance is exciting.

We encourage folks from throughout our county and the surrounding communities to visit our cities, towns and villages,  pick up some great deals at the Farmer’s Market, stroll through the shops and stores, and then take a break at whatever weekend event is taking place..

There are great deals and wonderful entertainment to be had in our inviting and welcoming communities.