What is so great about farmers’ markets?

Revelstoke organic farmer Terra Park explores how farmers' markets create connections between the farmer and the consumer, creating community and delivering fresher food

Terra Firma Farms owner Terra Park at the Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market on June 13. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

1. Promotes a sense of community

Farmers’ markets not only serve as venues to purchase local food but also allow consumers and farmers to connect with their community. While it can often seem like a chore to grocery shop, markets differ in that they feel like an event. There was a time when meat was bought from the butcher, bread from the baker, milk from the dairy farmer, vegetables from the farmer. We have since lost our way in the name of convenience. Those relationships were taken for granted and we are slowly reclaiming those bonds. Our local farmers’ market is a rich and vibrant cultural event.

2. Healthier, fresher, tastier

Fresher, tastier and local. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer
Fresher, tastier and local. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The tastiest and most nourishing food is fresh and in season, and you can’t get much fresher than from your local farmers unless you are growing it in your own backyard. A common question I used to get was “Wow, did you harvest this all this morning?” While the answer is no, this always made me laugh. Most of it is picked early the day before as it takes a full day. In the height of the season it’s a 16-hour day of harvesting, washing and packaging.

3. Good for you, good for the farmer

Farmers’ markets offer a direct relationship between you and the farmer. Farmers love seeing who their customers are and making connections. During the week we think of our customers and know who will be excited by the next upcoming crops. We are growing these crops for our customers not anonymous faces. By being able to talk directly with farmers you can learn about their growing practices and the choices they make. Consumers have access to fresher, better quality food, while farmers can cut out the middle man and receive a fair price for their hard work. Farmers can then continue to farm in sustainable ways which typically cost more.

Terra Park is the co-owner and operator of Terra Firma Farms, a small-scale, certified organic farm located in Revelstoke's Begbie Bench area. Terra Firma specializes in garden transplant and heirloom vegetables, and their crops are grown using ecological and sustainable practices.