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The Best Farmers’ Market I’ve Never Been To

Did you know this is National Farmers Market Week?

Well, it is! For two more days!

I don’t know if you shop at farmers’ markets, but they are really awesome. Wayward House is conveniently located directly across the street from a weekly summer market, where we have met a lot of great people and picked up some outstanding food and personal care products. I promise to share more about our favorite vendors in future posts.

Today is all about a market I haven’t been to, but which I would probably attend religiously if I still lived in Lincoln, Nebraska. My super rad cousin Megan Jackson is the Market Manager for the Old Cheney Road Farmers’ Market, and she answered the following questions. Photos used with permission.

Tell us about your farmer’s market.

We are a member controlled, non-profit farmers’ market with over 60 seasonal and weekly vendors. We’re Lincoln’s largest food and produce market, with vendors providing seasonal produce and fruit, pastured and cured meats, artisan cheeses, breads, pasta, pastries, hot food, sweet treats, and much more. [Editor’s note: Megan brought artisan doughnuts from The Doughnut Hole to a recent family event that have effectively ruined me on all other doughnuts for the rest of my life.]

Describe the role you play in the farmer’s market.

As the Market Manager, I oversee the general organization of the Market–placing vendors for the week, organizing events like kids’ activities and cooking demos, promoting the Market, and providing resources to customers. I work with a board of directors, comprised of vendors and friends of the market, on vendor selection, program development, and outreach. One of the programs I’m most proud of implementing this year is our matching incentive project for SNAP benefits. Through the month of September, the market will match dollar-for-dollar every SNAP benefit used at Market. This will increase the purchasing power for low-income residents to purchase locally grown, fresh food, putting more money directly into the hands of our local farmers, and connecting more people to local food.

What’s special about the market?

We do more than set up shop every Sunday. It’s our goal and mission to support our local family farmers through direct-market opportunities–expanding community support for and access to local food. How the Market has structured itself as a member-owned, non-profit speaks to the importance of maintaining our integrity and commitment to small farmers and local food.

Why should people support your farmer’s market and farmer’s markets in general?

So many reasons! Farmers’ markets are the best places to go for the freshest local food. You get to know your farmer and know where your food is coming from and how it’s grown. Plus, farmers’ markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.

With this current drought hitting the Midwest, farmers need your support more than ever. They are out in their fields literally watering crops by hand, picking weeds in the wee hours of the morning, and doing everything they can to keep both produce and animals alive. The farm and ranch land that supplies our food is at risk and if we do not support our farmers today we may not have local food for tomorrow.

Old Cheney Road Farmers’ Market happens every Sunday April through October at 56th and Old Cheney Road in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is a dog-friendly market!

For more information about this market, check out the website: www.oldcheneyroadfarmersmarket.com

Do you shop at a local farmers’ market? Say something about it in the comments!

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About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on August 10, 2012, in Family, Food, Random Life and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Great Post! Love a Great Farmer’s Market, especially when you can sample items:)

  2. I totally went to high school with the two guys behind The Doughnut Hole! I am excited to hit this place up on Sunday with my mom (and Turkey)!

  3. Great post!
    I love going to the farmers market and you are so right about supporting the people in your community.

    I’m glad to see your market is dog friendly, mine used to be until someone brought a boa constrictor to the market…don’t ask me how that has anything to do with dogs, small town politics I guess 😦

    • Whether or not pets can be at farmers markets is a contentious issue, so I’m not surprised it has come up at yours. Luckily, the market across the street from our house is dog-friendly, too, and some of our favorite vendors always appreciate seeing our pups.

  4. Most people here in Georgia buy their food from markets – it’s always fresh and you can select what you want.

    • That’s a definite difference between Georgia and the United States. Farmers Markets were almost unheard of for most of my life. Now they are getting more popular yet still mostly limited to growing/harvest season.

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