It’s National Farmers Market Week, which means it’s a great opportunity to come out and shop directly from all the local farms that make our region such a great source of fresh, healthy food.
And August is a fantastic month to shop at a farmers market. So many great fresh foods are now ripe and ready to eat! Why get tomatoes, berries, peaches, and watermelons at a grocery store – shipped thousands of miles from Florida, California, or even Mexico – when you can get them juicy, sweet, and farm-fresh!
Here’s what’s available at the farmers markets this month:
- Fruits: Apples, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon
- Veggies: Beans, Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Cucumbers, Corn, Eggplant, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Peppers, Potatoes, Radishes, Summer Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips
(Check out the seasonal calendar of what’s ripe in other months.)
And what’s even better than how yummy the fresh foods at farmers markets are? How great farmers markets are for our communities. According to our national ally the Farmers Market Coalition, farmers markets:
- Increase Access to Nutritious Food
- Support Healthy Communities
- Stimulate Local Economies
- Preserve Farmland and Rural Livelihoods.
- Promote Sustainability
HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION
1. Come shop at a farmers market! Just Harvest’s Fresh Accessprogram is operating this month at 20 area markets, providing shopping access for people using food stamps, credit, and debit cards. Food stamps shoppers will also receive Food Bucks — an additional $2 to spend on fruits and veggies for every $5 in farmers market purchases.
Here’s the list of Fresh Access and Food Bucks farmers market locations.
2. Bring your kids! Stop by any of our red tent markets this week and you’ll get a great sticker showing your support, and coloring sheets for kids!
And like we told you about in week 7, Just Harvest and Adagio Health will be providing kids activities at the following farmers markets this week! All children under age 18 can participate in the activities, crafts, games, cooking demos, and give-aways. Each child will also receive a $2 Food Bucks coupon (as supplies last).
Wilkinsburg: LifeCare Hospital at 225 Penn Ave. Wilkinsburg, PA 15221 | Thursday, Aug. 10th (3-6pm)
Swissvale: Lot behind Dickson School at 7301 Schoyer Ave. Swissvale, PA 15218 | Saturday, Aug. 12th (9am-12pm)
Squirrel Hill: Behind Murray Ave. business district between Beacon St. & Bartlett St. PGH PA 15217 | Sunday, Aug. 13th (9am-12pm)
3. Know a pregnant or young mother on WIC? Bring them to a market!
And make sure they get a $20 Farmers Market voucher, which are available for women receiving WIC benefits. They can be picked up at the Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services, and can be redeemed at all Fresh Access markets (see the link in #1 above) and dozens of other locations.
4. Spread the word about National Farmers Market Week!