The local food movement is one that is near and dear to my heart. I love the idea that local farmers are interested in selling their fresh produce to our community.
The farmers market is more than vegetables, though; it is a true community commitment. The farmers have to produce the food and physically be at the market and the community has to support the farmers. In our technology-enhanced world, it is a reminder of the basic needs of people and benefits of community, a real human experience if you will.
The farmers market highlighted on Eating Well with Kim is The Veggie Truck Farmers Market. This market is located at 309 Crawford Avenue behind St. Luke United Methodist Church. The unique thing about this farmers market is that it is the first in our community to accept EBT cards (electronic benefits transfer or food stamps). The market also accepts WIC vouchers (women, infants and children supplemental food program). The Veggie Truck Farmers Market also received a grant to double the EBT and WIC dollars. This is a great benefit to the community on a most basic level, making healthy eating accessible to lower-income families. What a concept, right?
We know healthy eating and health are linked, yet it seems to be such an elusive act to eat healthy. Here are farmers (most of whom are living a modest lifestyle, working the land to produce wholesome foods) doing their part to feed our community. Now the community must do its part and support this great effort. Of course, the farmers market accepts cash, debit and credit, in addition to EBT and WIC.
When you go to the market, there will be several tables set up, and one of them will have a person with “chip” bags. These chips look like wooden poker chips. This is what is used as cash at the individual market tables. This is the way that the EBT and WIC dollars are exchanged and also controlled. At the end of the market, the farmer turns in the wooden chips. Of course, the farmers also take cash directly, but as I found out during my shopping adventure, I did not have enough cash for all the yummy things I wanted to buy.
Here are some of the fabulous people and farmers I met at The Veggie Truck Farmers Market:
There were other farmers that I did not get to meet, and for that I am sorry, but I encourage you to go out and meet them! You will learn about how to eat and cook their wonderful foods and make some new friends as well.
And that's not all! In addition to all of the farmers and foods, there are also classes (cooking classes for moms and kiddos). I was leaving when the class was beginning, and these parents and children were being exposed to fresh ground whole wheat flour from a local grower. How cool is that? I myself have not had that experience. It is wonderful that interest and wonder about food is being instilled in this generation of children.
Going to The Veggie Truck Farmers Market is a most welcoming and lovely experience, not to mention DELICIOUS. I hope you find it as rewarding as I did. You can find The Veggie Truck Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 7 p.m. behind St. Luke United Methodist Church in Harrisburg.