Miner Editorial | Local farmers markets help create healthy residents, and a healthy economy

Fresh, locally grown produce can be procured at a pair of Kingman farmers markets. (Adobe image)

Fresh, locally grown produce can be procured at a pair of Kingman farmers markets. (Adobe image)

“Eat your vegetables.” Anyone who has or had a mom has heard that line umpteen times. But for some people – those who live in “food deserts” – it’s not so easy to follow that wise command.

A food desert is an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Think of inner-city areas with the closest source of ag-related nutrition being the grain alcohol at the liquor store, or remote desert towns where a shopping trip requires a road trip.

Here in Kingman, we’ve got a regular desert, not a food desert. There are plenty of nutritious vegetables at each of our five full-service grocery stores.

But Kingman has something else going for it – outlets for food that feature locally sourced fruits and vegetables, as well as other food products.

As National Farmers Market Week wraps up, let’s state a simple fact.

While many areas do without, Kingman is fortunate to have two farmers markets – The Kingman Farmers Market at Thunder-Rode, and The Kingman Farmers Market.

Make no mistake, when you spend money in Kingman, a chunk of it stays in Kingman. No shame in filling the cart with produce at Safeway, Basha’s, Smith’s or Walmart. You’re supporting local jobs, and you’re buying quality products.

But when you save that part of your shopping for a farmers market, you benefit yourself and the community three-fold.

Most of the fruits and vegetables you buy are grown in the area, and are grown organically, without pesticides. Items are often picked the same morning, so it doesn’t get fresher than this.

Since the farmers are local small businesses, all of the profits remains in the area, instead of being shipped out to the home office in some other city or state. Plus the growers, by cutting out the middle men, make more money by selling directly to consumers, giving them more purchasing power in the community.

There’s also something to be said for the camaraderie of a farmers market. The vendors are friendly, your neighbors are there, there’s no need to hurry, no lines to stand on. It fosters a sense of community.

And it’s not just produce that our local markets feature. You’ll find local craftspersons and vendors selling a variety of items. Once again, you’re buying local, feeding money back into the city’s economy.

Plus, you can’t beat the locations.

The Kingman Farmer’s Market at Thunder-Rode is conveniently located at 102 E. Beale St. in the heart of historic dowtown Kingman.

The Kingman’s Farmers Market at 2201 E. Andy Devine Ave. in Lewis Kingman Park is equally accessible, and a splash of green in a tan landscape.

So do yourself, and your city, a favor. Check out both local farmers markets, and make them part of your produce procurement routine.

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