Washington, DC, July 23, 2014 --Whether your recipe calls for ripe tomatoes, sweet corn, juicy berries or crunchy kale – summer is the perfect time to shop at your local farmers market. Your purchase not only provides fresh, healthy produce for your family, it provides a critical source of income for family farmers.
“The majority of our fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in the path of development. And, we are losing nearly an acre of land every minute. Farmers markets help keep farmers on the land,” said Andrew McElwaine, President of American Farmland Trust. “Americans value local food, but there is no local food without local farms.”
This is the sixth year in a row for American Farmland Trust’s I Love My Farmers Market Celebration, a summer-long event that recognizes family farmers and raises awareness about community markets. This summer, American Farmland Trust asks farmers market supporters nationwide to go online each week to pledge the amount of money they will spend at that week’s market.
Check out the markets with the highest dollar pledges as well as the top three markets in each state on the leaderboard at www.LoveMyFarmersMarket.org.
AFT board member Tom Gallo recalls the role farmers markets played in his family’s business. “When I look back to those first few days of Gallo Family Vineyards, when Ernest & Julio were selling our family’s grapes at the local market, I think about the dedicated support of their community. That same dedication – which has allowed my family to continue farming for the last eighty years – shines through when you support your local family farmers this summer.”
Although farmers markets may stay open through the fall or even year-round, the Celebration ends September 13.
American Farmland Trust is the only national conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980, American Farmland Trust has helped permanently protect more than five million acres of farmland. Learn more at www.farmland.org