August 15, 2020

Rehoboth Farmers' Market is an opportunity you don't want to pass up!


As we move deeper into the winter months, many farmers will be taking stock of their inventory and planning next year’s produce and livestock. The Agricultural Commission is doing an excellent job of noting our local farmers, and bringing awareness to agriculture. I would like to point out a few reasons why a local Farmers’ Market or community market is particularly important to our town:
Local Economy: Every dollar that is spent at our Farmers’ Market is directly benefiting local industry. As tariffs rise, and global trade uncertainties continue, it is beneficial for Rehoboth to invest in its local food sources. As long as we have farms, we are able to feed our people, and well!

Farming has always played an integral role in supporting regional economy. We are fortunate to have many farms, and many people coming to Rehoboth to do just that. It is important that we invest in farming. One of the things I would like to see moving forward is a strong Farmers' market, or potentially an open market with a structure, arranged so that farmers benefit as well as the local economy. But we need more farms to take interest!!!

Having spent some time in metropolitan areas, the concept of a “food desert” is a real thing. Many people have to travel out of their community, several miles, to get access to fruits and vegetables, many times the produce is are not even from the Northeast. As we age, being able to buy local is a unique gift that helps keep us healthy.

This brings up another concern, or reason to use your local food chain, as opposed to going to a supermarket: Global warming. Reducing food miles helps reduce our dependency on fossil fuel and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Yet another point, the median age of farmers is steadily increasing. Like many of our trade jobs that are leaving, this is an opportunity to grow our middle class!
Direct marketing: Personally, I enjoy the look of farms, and I think that is something everyone in Town can relate to. They create a pastoral beauty in a very chaotic and fast- paced world. I’d much rather keep big box delivery chains out of town, and access our local economy. Its better and easier for our infrastructure in the long run!
Childhood education and awareness: The USDA provides grants to local schools through a “Farm to School Program”, which provides grant funding to improve access to local foods in schools. As someone who grew up in a farming community, there are invaluable lessons to be learned from farmers.

Self reliance: Many kids and adults would benefit from learning about self reliance. Thinking in an extreme sense, if the economy were ever to collapse, it's important to know how to survive. Everyone should know about their community, the land, and it's natural resources, that way we can make more informed decisions moving forward.

I strongly urge Rehoboth farms to consider participating in the market for the 2020 season, for our community. Working together we can put Rehoboth on the Map for being the charming, efficient, town that it is. If we take stock in our resources and work together we can grow our local economy.

As someone who is invested in our community, I hope to continue this dialogue further and it is my hope that all farms, small and large, will consider the market for the 2020 season.

Happy New Year,

Laura Samsel


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