Farmers are important members of our communities. Through the challenges of recent years – from the COVID pandemic to drought to rising gas prices – they have raised the foods we all need to live healthy lives. Their hard work and dedication provide us with bountiful vegetables, delicious fruit, fresh eggs, locally sourced meat and poultry, wholesome grains, beautiful fiber and much more. The farmers markets they host each week brighten up our downtown areas and contribute to our local economy. Maine Farmers’ Market Week is an opportunity to celebrate and thank them!
Maine Farmer’s Market Week is August 7-13 this year. Many markets offer special events – tasting tables, music, tattoos, children’s activities and more. Submit your favorite farmers market photos in a contest to win market gift certificates. Find the market that is most convenient for you at mffm.org, then visit their Facebook or website to find out what activities they offer.
Jimmy DeBiasi, executive director of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets, noted, “Farmers’ Market Week is a time to recognize and celebrate our Farmers Market community. There are so many Maine farmers who work as volunteer organizers to bring their markets to life and ensure they are accessible to everyone in their community.”
One hundred and thirty summer and winter farmers’ markets serve all 16 of Maine’s counties. The Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets estimates that more than 400 farms and small businesses are supported by these markets and the markets contribute nearly $20 million to Maine’s small business economy. Farmers’ markets also boost the local economy by attracting shoppers to downtown areas.
Maine Farmers Markets serve all Mainers, including low-income households. Over 35 markets accept SNAP benefits in their market and increase the value of those benefits by 50 percent through the Maine Harvest Bucks program. In 2021, more than 5,000 low-income shoppers purchased over $500,000 in local, healthy Maine groceries.
Employers in Maine can purchase bumper crop vouchers to give to their employees as part of workplace wellbeing and employee appreciation initiatives. To date, 45 employers are participating in 2022, and more are joining every month.
Get outside, connect with your neighbors, buy Maine groceries. Visit the local farmers market!
Find a farmers market near you at https://mainefarmersmarkets.org/shoppers/market-finder/.
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