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Life News

10 Reasons to Support Farmers Markets

From savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to support farmers markets. Here are just a few!

Beautiful woman buying kale at a farmers market

1. Taste Real Flavors

The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.

2. Enjoy the Season

The food you buy at the farmers market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the farmers market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year.

3. Support Family Farmers

Family farmers need your support, now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S. Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

4. Protect the Environment

Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.

5. Nourish Yourself

Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.

6. Discover the Spice of Life: Variety

At the farmers market you find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

Support Your Local Farmers Market

7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals

At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture.

8. Know Where Your Food Comes From

A regular trip to a farmers market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced. CUESA’s seller profiles that hang at the booths give you even more opportunities to learn about the people who work hard to bring you the most delicious and nutritious food around. Profiles, articles about sellers, and a map of farms are also available on this website.

9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas

Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy, but farmers, ranchers, and artisans at the farmers market are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. You can also attend free seasonal cooking demonstrations by leading Bay Area chefs and evening classes on food preservation and other kitchen skills.

10. Connect with Your Community

Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? Coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of our wonderful big city.

Source: CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food

Categories
Events Life Technology

Iowa FFA Students Build GoServ Global’s 300th Safe T Home® in Haiti in Memory of Eugene Sukup

LES CAYES, HAITI – For more than two years, Vainceur and his five boys lived in an 8’x10’ tin shack with a tarp roof after Hurricane Matthew destroyed their home. Today, this Haitian family of six has a new place to call home, marking GoServ Global’s 300th Sukup Safe T Home® built in Haiti. This home is extra special because it was built by the Audubon, Iowa FFA team in memory of Sukup Manufacturing Co. founder Eugene Sukup, who died this past summer at the age of 89. Sukup employees donated most of the funds for the Safe T Home®.
“The Safe T Home® really embodies two of our values as a family-owned company – making high quality products from steel and giving back,” shared Steve Sukup, CFO at Sukup. “Building one of these homes in Haiti was a very fitting way to honor my father, Eugene, who founded the company and ingrained these values in it from the beginning.”
Sukup Safe T Home®
After the January 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, Brett Nelson of Sukup Manufacturing came up with the design of the Safe T Home®, measuring 18-feet in diameter and made entirely of metal, making it resistant to
termites and moisture. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti with winds in excess of 145 mph, putting the homes to the test. Yet, all 200 homes prevailed with just minor damage, while the vast majority of traditional homes in the area were destroyed.
Homes like Vainceur’s. The father lost his home, his garden, and a year later his wife passed away, leaving him to raise all five boys alone. Vainceur shared how tough it was following the hurricane, yet today was a good day.
“Right now I feel at peace,” he said. “I learned that I was getting a new home about 3 days ago.”

Vainceur and his five boys lived in this makeshift home for more than two years
after Hurricane Matthew destroyed their house.

Not only was Vainceur touched by the Safe T Home®, so was the team that built it. Eight members of the Audubon FFA along with their advisor, Brittany Elmquist and her husband, Joe, helped build the home along with the family.
“I will not forget the look of pride on [Vainceur’s] face as we handed him his keys for his new Safe T Home,” shared FFA student Grace Christensen.
Eighteen-year-old Jayden Hartl added, “It was humbling to meet a family that had lost nearly everything except for each other. They were driven and doing everything they could to try and get their life back on track.” and doing everything they could to try and get their life back on track.”

#LivingtoServe

Since 2012, nearly 75 FFA students from across the U.S. have served on a GoServ Global mission trip. “I wanted our chapter to be involved in this project to give members the opportunity to exemplify the FFA motto,

‘Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve’ with emphasis on ‘Living to Serve,’” shared Elm- quist. “Haiti is a country in need and our members knew they could be of assistance with agricultural projects and by having great character to learn the culture and respect those involved.”


After returning from Haiti, the team was so impacted by the trip that the Audubon FFA voted to sponsor Paul, one of the boys they met at the Joshua House Orphanage.


Last year, 325 volunteers served on a GoServ Global mission trip. GoServ Global shares God’s love by responding to disaster, empowering sustainable community development and creating world change through hands-on involvement in Guatemala, Haiti, India, Peru, Uganda, and the United States.
Shortly after GoServ Global began in 2011, the nonprofit connected with Sukup Manufacturing to discuss how the Safe T Home® could help those in need. Not only have 300 homes been built in Haiti, 30 more are being built in Uganda to house refugee orphan children who have fled war-torn South Sudan. Ten homes have also been built in Peru and 10 in Kenya.
The need for homes is great in Haiti as there are countless more families like Vainceur’s. One Safe T Home® costs $7,000 including shipping. To give toward a Safe T Home®, visit www.goservglobal.org.

The Audubon FFA Team building the Safe T Home®.

About GoServ Global
A not-for-profit 501c3 organization, GoServ Global was founded in 2011 to care for and support both the physical and spiritual needs of those impacted by humanitarian disasters around the world. In the U.S., GoServ Global provides immediate response to natural disasters bringing hearts, hands and heavy equipment to help victims heal from damage to property and spirit. Internationally, GoServ Global responds to emergency situations then identifies opportunities to create lasting solutions for long-term humanitarian needs. See more about ongoing projects in Haiti, Peru, India, Guatemala, Uganda, and the U.S. by visiting www.goservglobal.org.

Sukup Manufacturing Co.

Sukup Manufacturing Co. is the world’s largest family-owned and operated grain storage, drying and handling equipment manufacturer. The company is headquartered in Sheffield, Iowa, and covers 1,000,000 sq. ft. of office, manufacturing and warehouse space.

The company employs more than 600 people, making it one of the largest employers in North Central Iowa. Three generations of the family are now active in the business. Sukup’s product line includes on-farm and commercial grain bins, portable and tower dryers, centrifugal and axial fans and heaters,

The Audubon FFA Team built a Safe T Home® for a family of six in Haiti.

stirring machines, bin unloading equipment and bin floors and supports. Sukup also manufactures a line of material handling equipment that includes bucket elevators, drag conveyors and chain loop conveyors, as well as a line of steel buildings.

Sukup has six distribution centers located throughout the Midwest. Sukup products are sold throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in over 80 foreign countries.