Editorial: Farmers’ markets help land, locals
Published: Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 23:10
On Saturday afternoons, students who take a quick walk past E.O. Smith High School will discover a convenient opportunity to support and enjoy locally-grown agriculture: the Storrs' Farmers' Market. At the market, customers can shop for healthier food choices without breaking the bank. For students who live off campus, the market is an affordable option with a wide selection to choose from – fruits, vegetables and more. Fresh flowers are also sold, perhaps a nice surprise for one's significant other after a busy day.
Those who shop at the Storrs' Farmers' Market are helping a good cause. The market is sponsored by CT NOFA, the Connecticut chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. Through its markets, CT NOFA promotes responsible land-use in order to preserve farmland for future generations.
The association also seeks to establish a food system that is both regional and sustainable. Going to these markets and buying their products increases the local and organic supplies so that regional farms can preserve their legacy of providing healthy, clean and safe products to Connecticut residents. In this way, students who purchase products from the Storrs' Farmers' Market are directly helping the local economy, including individual families, all while promoting a healthier lifestyle.
The farmers' market is also a great place to hang out in a laid-back setting after a hectic week of classes. Food is on sale and music is played. Students can interact with local residents in a rare chance to be part of the larger Storrs-Mansfield community.
Environmental scientists in the student body will be glad to know that the farmers' market promotes environmentally-friendly policies. The market offers its fair share of organic food, and by promoting sustainable, earth-conscious policies, provides alternatives to the processed foods sold in the big-box grocery stores.
The Storrs' Farmers' Market is held every Saturday through Nov. 20 from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Mansfield Town Hall parking lot, just south of E.O. Smith. Tolland also hosts a Farmers' Market, Saturdays through Nov. 20, 9 a.m. to noon on the Tolland Green. For additional information and for locations of other Connecticut farmers' markets, visit www.ctnofa.org.