Farmers are essential members of our communities. Through the challenges of the past few years – from the COVID pandemic to drought to spiking gasoline prices – they have raised the food we all need to live a healthy life. Their hard work and dedication provides us with bountiful vegetables, tasty fruits, fresh eggs, local meat and poultry, healthy grains, beautiful fiber and so much more. The farmers’ markets they host each week alongside prepared food vendors and craftspeople brighten our downtowns and contribute to our local economies. Maine Farmers’ Market Week is an opportunity to celebrate and thank them!
Maine Farmers’ Market Week is Aug. 7-13 this year. Many markets will be offering special events – tasting tables, music, tattoos, children’s activities and more. Enter your favorite farmers’ market photos in a contest to win gift certificates to the market. Find the market most convenient to you at mffm.org, then check out their Facebook or web page to find out what activities they are hosting.
Jimmy DeBiasi, executive director of Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets remarked, “Farmers’ Market Week is a time to appreciate and celebrate our farmers’ market community. There are so many farmers in Maine that work as volunteer organizers to bring their markets to life and make sure that they’re accessible to everyone in their community.”
One hundred and thirty summer and winter farmers’ markets serve all 16 Maine counties. The Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets estimates that more than 400 farms and small businesses are supported through these markets, and markets contribute almost $20 million to the small business economy of Maine. Farmers’ markets also boost local economies by attracting shoppers to downtown areas.
Maine’s farmers’ markets serve all Mainers, including low-income households. Over 35 markets accept SNAP benefits at their market, and increase the value of those benefits by 50 percent through the Maine Harvest Bucks program. In 2021, more than 5,000 low-income shoppers bought over $500,000 worth of local, healthy, Maine-grown food.
Maine employers can purchase Bumper Crop vouchers to give to their employees as part of workplace wellness and employee appreciation initiatives. To date, 45 employers are participating in 2022 with more joining each month.
Get outside, connect with your neighbors, buy Maine-grown food. Visit your local farmers’ market!
Find a farmers’ market near you at https://mainefarmersmarkets.org/shoppers/market-finder/.