Community Benefits of Local Markets

Local markets offer many advantages to the communities they serve, especially in the agricultural hub of Napa County. Shoppers will find a variety of seasonal food that is usually more affordable and sustainable. These markets not only support the community by providing greater access to locally grown foods, they boost the local economy by supporting local farmers, ranchers, and businesses. So what are you waiting for? Find your nearest local market!

Need a few more reasons to shop local? Read on!

The food is higher-quality

One benefit of shopping at local markets is that you have access to fresher, tastier, nutritious whole foods! Because local markets source their products from farms close to the communities they serve, they provide them with locally cultivated fruits and vegetables as well as products like organic honey and beeswax, nuts, and baked goods. Local fruits and vegetables, particularly, are picked at the height of their ripeness, usually more vivid and colorful, and tend to taste better than their supermarket counterparts, some of which may have had to travel great distances.

Local farms favor cultivating a range of crops offering consumers a greater variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from. In contrast, large, industrial farms only grow specific crops sold at grocery stores. Having a variety of seasonal produce available at local markets is beneficial to the community because they then consume the freshest, tastiest, and most nutritious whole foods.

It’s affordable and sustainable

Since they sell directly to the consumer, local markets usually price their food products, especially fruits and vegetables, at lower prices than grocery stores. This makes shopping at local markets more affordable and accessible for every budget. The Napa County Eat, Move, Read Program by Women, Infants, and Children Food and Nutrition Service (WIC) provides eligible participants with healthy eating education sessions and vouchers to local farmers markets. Also, through CalFresh, eligible participants can buy food at farmer’s markets using their debit card and some markets even double CalFresh dollars, allowing consumers to stretch their budget. Programs like this help support families at varying income levels by providing equal access to affordable, local, and healthy food.

Purchasing foods at local markets guarantees that you are getting involved in Napa’s sustainable food system by making socially and environmentally responsible purchases. It also means you are participating in sustainable practices and supporting others that do as well, such as farmers, ranchers, and local businesses. Choosing local is also good for the planet and can help reduce your carbon footprint.  Because farms and ranches are often located in close proximity to local markets and their communities, there is less travel involved in transporting their food products – which means less fossil fuel emissions and better air quality.

Build a stronger local economy & community

Supporting local agriculture, farmers, ranchers, and businesses means local markets are investing in local success. They foster the opportunity for local buyers to connect with local growers and create a more connected, tight-knit community. It’s a great feeling to know where your food is coming from and who is growing it. If local growers and businesses are supported by their community, they will thrive. It’s a win – win for everyone!

In the spirit of community connection and supporting your local economy, participate in National Small Business Week, taking place April 30 – May 6, 2017! With spring finally here, it’s the perfect time to visit your favorite local market, purchase delicious and nutritious food, and support your local farms and businesses.

Connect with your local market!

Are you wondering where to find your local farmer’s market, public market, farm or stand that sells locally grown food? Check out our Find Food page for a comprehensive list of all the local markets in Napa County, their locations and hours of operation.

It’s time to pack your reusable bags and baskets and shop local!

Sources: