Importance of the farmers market

Heather Hardyman - KDMC Ohio - Farmers Market Master

King’s Daughters Ohio Farmers Market is Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m., through Oct. 4 in the Kings Daughters Medical Center Ohio Urgent Care parking lot, 2001 Scioto Trail, Portsmouth.

At the market, you will find fresh produce, a variety of meats, eggs, soaps and lotions, flowers, cookies and baked goods. Fruits and vegetables are fresh and delicious and have been grown locally, harvested at the peak of ripeness and brought to you. These vegetables have not traveled long distances or been stored for weeks, they’re fresh from the farm. Produce is seasonal, you will get the chance to enjoy asparagus, leafy greens and strawberries in the spring, sweet corn, peppers, onions, tomatoes and potatoes in the summer, and a variety of pumpkins and squash in the fall. There is always a wide variety of vividly colored produce packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants, and a much better taste.

Not only is the produce freshest at the farmers market, but it is also a way to protect the environment. Food bought in the store travels great distances and involves industrial farming. Doing so contributes to pollution of the water, land and air and trash from packaging. Buying from the farmers’ market is better for the economy and better for your nourishment. Food in the stores may contain hormones, pesticides and go through processing. Farmers at the farmers’ market have produce that is harvested before the market and doesn’t include harsh chemicals and hormones in the growing process. The famers market is a place where you will find a variety of local grown meats that are free of hormones and antibiotics that were also raised in living conditions that are not inhumane. Pasture raised eggs are available, meaning that the chickens are not living in cramped spaces. There’s also the opportunity to come to the farm and see the livestock and to learn about their nutrition and how they were raised, if desired.

The market offers a chance to talk with farmers and learn about how the food is produced and where. This provides the opportunity to enjoy being outside as you walk from each farmer to the next. Chatting with farmers often leads to great conversation and learning experience. Shopping at the farmers market becomes a joy — something to look forward to each week, rather than an item to check off your to-do list that involves going to the cold grocery store and rushing through to get what you need to get done. Farmers often provide cooking tips, recipes, and share ideas of how to prepare the items they produce. The sense of community provided at the farmers market is one that kids, adults, elderly, and pets enjoy alike.

Heather Hardyman


Farmers Market Master