By Steve Rickman
UT Extension Agent
The Henderson Farmers Market celebrated National Farmers Market Week Friday, Aug. 6. The celebration runs Aug. 1-7 all across the state of Tennessee and U.S. With over 160 farmers markets listed on the Pick Tennessee website and mobile app, it is easy to find fresh foods and goods near you. We invite you to shop with us at the Henderson Farmers Market every Friday through the end of October. The Market opens at 7 a.m., and most vendors will stay till 1 p.m. unless they have already sold out. I encourage you to come early. This is the time of year that peas and melons are coming in, and they are very popular.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), people who shop at farmers markets eat more fruits and vegetables than those who shop at grocery stores, and proximity to a farmer’s market is associated with a lower body mass index. Farmers markets also improve a community’s social health. Data from USDA surveys reveal that people who shop at farmers markets report 15 to 20 positive social interactions per visit, compared to one to two at a grocery store. The Henderson Farmers Market is the place to socialize on Friday mornings. Our objective is to make you feel welcomed and appreciated for shopping with us.
Significant economic benefits also reach to our most rural areas. Markets serve as incubators for small food and farm product businesses, giving rural entrepreneurs a platform to improve their products and decision-making. The average American farmer receives about 17 cents for every dollar spent on food purchased through a grocery store, but farmers who sell at a farmers market can earn about 90 cents. The benefit to agricultural communities is also social. In an industry where the average farmer’s age is over 60, 16 percent of all farmer’s markets farmers are under 35.
Pick Tennessee is a free service of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture that connects consumers with Tennessee farmers, farmers markets, farm products and activities plus food and farm related products made in Tennessee. The Tennessee farmer’s market directory can be accessed at www.PickTNProducts.org and via the Pick TN mobile app. Follow Pick Tennessee on social media for seasonal updates and information about farm related events, activities and products.
The Henderson Farmers Market was awarded a $1,000 grant for 2021. The funds for this grant are provided by the Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program. These funds were used for advertising on a billboard for six months in South Jackson. Check out our Facebook page at Henderson Farmers Market for upcoming events and activities. If you are interested in becoming a vendor, contact your local UT Extension office here in Chester County at 989-2103. Come out and visit us at the Henderson Farmers Market every Friday, we are located at 620 N. Church Ave. in Gene Record Park.