USDA invests in farmers markets

Farmers markets: Not only local, but also high quality fresh produce

The US Department of Agriculture has taken a big interest in small commercial gardeners who produce fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables for their families and to share and sell to neighbors. And the federal agency offers financial and technical assistance to all size farming operations, including farmers market vendors, through its Natural Resource Conservation Service. For the past few years, USDA scientists have promoted the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative as a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers. The goal of the initiative is to assist producers to extend the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner.

The initiative’s five roles include:

• Improve plant quality

• Improve soil quality

• Reduce nutrient and pesticide transportation

• Improve air quality through reduced transportation inputs;

• Reduce energy use by providing consumers with a local source of fresh produce.

Click here to learn more.

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