Governor Bob McDonnell has officially recognized this week as Farmers' Market Week.
Markets, like the one in Harrisonburg, have gained popularity throughout the entire state over the past six years. According to the proclamation, in 2006, only 88 markets were recognized. Since then, 120 more have opened to spread Virginia grown produce to people with discerning tastes.
"More and more folks are really wanting to know more about where their food comes from," said Josie Showalter, manager of the Harrisonburg Farmers' Market. "They're more tuned in to the health benefits of eating fresh local food. Not only the health benefits, but the taste and the pleasure. The connection with the actual farmer. "
That ability to actually interact with the person responsible for why your food tastes or looks a certain way just can't be had at the super market.
Showalter suggests the growth of farmers' markets can also be attributed to the recent economical shift.
"I think there's a lot of desire and motivation to supporting the local economy for all of us," she said. "Certainly shopping at a local farmers' markets is a great way to support the local economy. The money stays in the community. "
Farm to table is a concept familiar to market-goers. What they may not be familiar with, though, is how buying local benefits the entire world.
"To buy food that was produced locally, comes straight to the market, and goes straight home, really minimizes the carbon footprint," said Showalter.
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