Shopping at local farmers markets in Central Texas has many advantages for both the community and the consumer. Supporting small-scale local farmers and agriculture means that the food you consume is sourced within 150 miles of the market, is available seasonally, and does not require wasted energy and oil to transport food from distant places. Not only does this provide fresh, nutrient-rich produce, but it also helps to stimulate local economies by providing jobs and supporting businesses in the area. The Clear Lake Shores Farmers Market, for example, offers a wide selection of locally produced fruits and vegetables.
According to a survey conducted by the National Young Farmers Coalition, agricultural markets accounted for 18% of agricultural sales, with 19% coming from direct sales to customers who prepay for agricultural products. Farmers markets are also agile in times of crisis. The Farmers Market Coalition reports that more than 85% of market vendors travel less than 50 miles to reach their farmers market, and more than half travel less than 10 miles. This means that local communities can still have access to fresh produce and meat even during difficult times.
In addition to farmers markets, many grocery stores offer organic sections where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables. The Sustainable Food Center and the Texas Farmers Market manage many of these markets and have locations and hours on their websites. Shopping at local farmers markets is an important way to support agricultural occupations, particularly for younger farmers who may face obstacles related to land accessibility, student loan debt, health insurance, and the search for skilled labor. By shopping at local farmers markets in Central Texas, you can help support small local farmers while also getting access to fresh produce and meat.