“If you want to seed a place with activity, put out food.” 
- William H. Whyte

Phoenix Councilman Daniel Valenzuela at the Maryvale El Oso Park Farmers Market

Phoenix Councilman Daniel Valenzuela at the Maryvale El Oso Park Farmers Market

As the summer goes on, so does the Farmers Market Celebration! We’re continuing to raise awareness about how impactful farmers markets are, and how much they benefit our communities. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be focusing on how farmers markets become pillars of community and bring people together. Many farmers markets celebrate the uniqueness of their hometowns, and many act as a central gathering place for neighbors and vendors.

Food often brings people from different walks of life together. Farmers markets are usually located in the heart of a neighborhood, providing a central location for meaningful interactions. The atmosphere at farmers markets is always friendly, and you’d be hard-pressed to walk through without saying hello to friends, neighbors, vendors and farmers. Markets can revitalize communities, strengthen neighborhood identities, and become hubs of interaction.

To bring even more people together, some markets host events, live music and contests. Many of our Arizona farmers markets organize cooking demonstrations, watermelon-eating contests, free classes, scavenger hunts and more to engage their customers and encourage healthy, connected communities.

Not only do farmers markets offer locally-grown fruits and vegetables that are unique to their region and in-season, but many also celebrate the character of their hometown in various ways. Some markets may offer distinctive recipes for meals, educate their customers about local farmers and foods, and provide resources to connect customers with local organizations.

Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook page, and Twitter over the next few weeks to learn more about some of our special Arizona markets who have become pillars of their communities. Feel free to share the graphics below to show your support for our Arizona Farming Families using the hashtags #FarmFamilies, #AZagriculture and #OnMyFork.

Does your farmers market act as a community hub and bring your community together every week? Nominate them today for the American Farmland Trust’s Farmers Market Celebration!