Rockingham Farmers Market Rolls Out April 26
On Saturday, April 26, the Rockingham Farmers Market in Downtown Rockingham will have its first day of the 2014 season. This year’s market is shaping up to be the best one yet, so be sure to make it a regular part of your weekend! This Saturday, the Market will be in its usual location – Downtown on Harrington Square. Starting in May, however, the market will move to the RW Goodman’s parking lot, across from the new Courthouse.
Another change for this season: the Rockingham Farmers Market will be open on Wednesday afternoon at the same location, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm, beginning May 7. This year, the Richmond County Farmers Market Association has teamed up with Rockingham Downtown Corporation, and there are lots of new features that will come on line as the season progresses. There will be music, cooking demos, kids activities, and much more! And of course, lots of fresh, locally grown produce! Remember, all the produce sold at the Rockingham Farmers’ Market is grown in Richmond County or within a 50 mile radius.
The cold, snowy weather this year has been tough on farmers, but they are up to the challenges dished out by Mother Nature. Some crops are coming in a little later this Spring because of the cold. However, the first day of the market will feature strawberries, greenhouse tomatoes, and more. Why take the time to shop at the farmers market? The best tasting, most nutritious produce is also the freshest. Studies show that a diet rich in fresh produce can reduce chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and help reach or maintain a healthy weight. The current recommendation is to consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Shopping at the farmers market can help you reach that goal in the most delicious and nutritious way possible. Unlike much of the produce in a grocery store, which travels an average 1,500 miles to reach store shelves, and picked 10 days or more before you buy it, produce from Rockingham Farmers’ Market is usually picked within one day of it being sold to you. In addition, the dollars spent with your farmer stays in the county, making it worth even more. This is because the entire dollar stays here, whereas a large percentage of a dollar spent in a chain store will leave the county or even the state, to go to a corporate headquarters elsewhere. The greater benefit of a locally spent dollar is called the “multiplier effect” and is the motivation behind “buy local” campaigns. Farmers markets also build community. By shopping with local farmers you are supporting them, getting to know them as your neighbors, and getting to know others who shop there as well. Healthy, resilient communities grow when people know each other and invest in themselves and each other.
The Rockingham Farmers’ Market runs from April 26 through October, Saturdays from 8am – 12 pm. April 26 will be on Harrington Square, then afterwards at the RW Goodman parking lot. Beginning Wednesday, May 7, the market will run in the same location from 3:30-6:30 pm every Wednesday afternoon during the season. Stop by and see us! Farmers appreciate the support and sponsorship of the City of Rockingham and Community Transformation Grant Region 6, for the support to provide many of the upgrades you’ll see at the market this year. Stop by and visit!