Click the menus below for detailed descriptions of local resources.
A farmers market is a public, recurring assembly of farmers to sell their local produce directly to the consumer. Cutting out the middleman, farmers markets provide the opportunity to give the dollar spent directly to the farmer in support of fresh, flavorful food and prosperous local economies. The markets vary in size and quantity depending on the regional area. At farmers markets, you can find produce, meat products, value added products, dinners, and more. Some farmers markets are “producers only,” requiring that all vendors sell exclusively their own products, while other farmers markets allow vendors to sell products aggregated from other growers.
Farm stands are typically located at or near the home farm. They are owned by an individual farmer, whereas a farmers market is a shared space by many farmers. A farm stand can be a permanent or semi-permanent set up alongside a road, and can include a brick and mortar building or a few simple tables, cover, and baskets filled with recent harvests. Some farm stands may offer additional value added products.
community supported agriculture (CSA)
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a popular way for consumers to buy local, fresh, seasonal food from farmers directly. The farmer offers a limited amount of shares to the public for sale. Interested consumers purchase a “membership” or “subscription” to receive boxes of produce throughout a designated time period. A share can vary in contents, including vegetables, fruit, meat, herbs, value added goods, or a combination of all, etc. They also vary in size, price, and season. Shares are typically distributed on a weekly or biweekly either at t the farm, picked up at a drop off location, or delivered depending on the farm’s policy. Some CSAs operate strictly during peak season, roughly early June through late October, while other farms have adapted growing practices to provide winter or spring CSAs.
CSAs allow farmers to market before the growing season is in full swing, allowing them to focus on farming during the peak season. Payments are received early to help with cash flow and upfront costs such as equipment repairs and seed purchases. For the consumer, CSAs provide access to fresh, locally grown produce. The consumer’s dollar stays local and pays the farmer directly. The consumer is able to develop a season-long relationship with the farmer, and is exposed to new fruits and vegetables and receives products when they are in their peak season.
Many CSA models are adapting to accept public food assistance benefits, such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), to allow low income consumers to access fresh, local produce. Additionally, some small farms participate in collective CSAs, which aggregate products from several different farms to create CSAs. This model is particularly attractive to small farms who may not grow enough on their own to supply a full season CSA.
Restaurants serve as an important player in shaping consumer food preferences. Restaurants that purchase local food ensure that local farms are able to connect with new consumers and provide a new market for farmers. Restaurants highlighted in the designated tabs consistently source locally grown produce.
See below for a map of farmers markets in the tri-county area.
Helping build a sustainable, equitable tri-county food system where everyone has access to healthy, green, fair & affordable food