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Come to your local farmers' market

Date: 7/23/2010

Now that farmers' market season is in full swing, I hope that all of you reading this will support our local farmers. We are so fortunate here in Western Massachsetts and Northern Connecticut to have farms left.

Even if you have to go out of your way to shop at a farmers' market or farm stand, please do so. You'll be doing your part to keep open space open.

Something that I have noticed in my 13 years as manager of a farmers' market, is that the new farmers are well educated, and interested in farming from many vantages. They look at the occupation as being stewards of the land, providing healthy food, and at the same time, providing themselves and their families with an occupation that gives them some freedom and autonomy. (I'm not sure they would agree with the freedom part in July, August, and September in particular).

Two of the farms, both dairy farms from Northern Connecticut who come to the Forest Park farmers' market, have the fourth generation of their families working on the farm. And the fifth already helps out.

In survey after survey, customers of markets say that even if something costs a little more at a farmers' market, they would rather pay the extra money to have such fresh delicious food.

Belle Rita Novak