Farmers' Markets Help Shoppers Save Money, Eat Well, and Support Local Economies

By: Caroline Gonzmart Email
By: Caroline Gonzmart Email

As food prices continue to increase across the U.S., people in southern Georgia have found an alternative for buying fresh produce while keeping their money in the local economy.

Farmers' markets bring locally-grown produce to shoppers -- and they're usually less expensive, too.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says over 7,100 markets span the nation; they're stocked with produce grown by 19,000 American farmers.

Lewis Produce has been part of the Thomasville Farmer's Market for over 60 years.

Though the store has gone from open-air to air-conditioned, customers still come in for the same reasons.

Frazier Walker lives in Florida and crosses over to the Peach State just for fresh produce.

"I live just across the line in Florida, but I come up here often, once a week ... because the vegetables are nice, fresh."

Lewis Produce sells peaches, peanuts, and tomatoes from the Peach State. What they can't get from Georgia usually arrives from neighboring states.

Says frequent shopper Lindsay Leverette, "I think shopping locally is good, not that there's anything wrong with big box stores, but I shop local to support the local economy."

Her three-year-old daugher, McKie, agrees, ""I like to get fruits here."

It appears other Americans also agree with the Leverettes and Walker.

The USDA says between 2010 and 2011, farmer's markets have grown in popularity by 17 percent.


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