Farmers markets are growing in communities all across the country. And, the CSRA is among those communities benefitting from goods produced by local growers.
“There is a growing and reinvigorating interest in our country to know the people who grow our food,” said Kim Hines, owner of Augusta Locally Grown, under which the Evans Towne Farmers Market operates. “And what better way is there to meet your farmer than to go to the local farmers market?”
In the CSRA, residents can purchase locally grown food from Augusta Locally Grown, which operates several area markets. Augusta Locally Grown is an online marketplace where growers sell their goods.
“Each week, our farmers and growers list their seasonally-available products on our Web site,” notes Hines. “Depending on the time of year, this can include a wide variety of traditional and heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits, meats, legumes, milled products, dairy, fresh flowers, mushrooms, eggs, herbs, honey, firewood, live plants, soaps and artisan goods. Everything is fresh, local and sustainably-grown.”
The online market is based on a nationally-recognized model program and encourages innovative ways to connect local growers with their neighbors.
“As a nation, we allowed the mega-scaled, industrialization food system to drive a wedge between farmers and eaters,” said Hines. “We forgot that food is healthiest and tastes best when it comes, in season, directly from the nearby farms.”
Last year, Augusta Locally Grown decided to expand its efforts to a weekday market in Columbia County, thus the Evans Towne Farmers Market was born. Each Thursday from March until October, local growers set up their wares at the Evans Library Park. From 4-7 p.m., residents can purchase from those farmers.
“Shopping at the farmers market is all about the economy,” said Hines. “If you’re looking for a way to keep your dollars in the community while supporting some of the hardest working people around, then shop at your farmers market. Buy as many of your groceries from there as you can.”