The Corner of Spring & Elm St.

Farmer's Markets are a place for eating, meeting, and building community

Imagine if the mayor of an infamous city, the brightest minds of the century, leaders from one of the most prestigious universities, and the most turnt, knowledgeable senior gardeners you have ever met, were all in the same place, at the same time.

Can you imagine the connections — the innovative potential — in that space? Well, on June 15, 2017, the first “Evening at the Market” of the summer took place in Tuskegee, AL…

Andreas and a customer at The Macon County Farmers Market

Farmers markets are great places for events and get togethers, not just selling food. They allow farmers to expand their markets, resulting in less wasted food, more profitable farming, healthy market competition and lower food prices. For us as consumers, it shortens the amount of time food takes to get to us, limiting preservatives and food processing in the production chain. We get to eat fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits, and gain exposure to new vegetables and cooking techniques. They connect and bring together the consumer and the farmer, who may rarely engage each other, over something we all can appreciate — fresh, clean food. This chance to get to know the person your dollar goes to allows the consumer to directly invest in their community, increasing their sense of ownership and value in the place they call home. Miscommunication cannot take root where good food and relationships grow.

Tuskegee has the unique opportunity to grow together, to build community through agriculture. But for every black person realizing the value in their neighborhood, there are ten people outside that community who notice too. Because of this, Tuskegee must be the example as we have been in the past: a community supported by agriculture. Community Supported Agricultural systems (CSAs) are becoming more popular amongst consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. As agricultural business giants like Bayer/Monsanto and DowAgro/Elanco gain tighter grips on major food commodities, it will become increasingly important for us to support people who work hard and look like us.

I am fortunate to be right in the middle of this wave, working underDemetrius Hooks of Al Hooks Produce. I am understanding the intricacies of farming, supply chain, and marketing. I see the correlation between having a relationship with the farmer who grows my food and learning about how food is grown through agricultural education. Drop your bucket where you are, and enjoy our shot at our real-life, very own NegroTown. This is a time to invest in ourselves, no matter how small (a Hooks produce veggie crate is only $15 a week) — because no one else will.

Ask yourself this: if there is an attack on black bodies… what better way to defend ourselves than through our own forks?

#AnAgrivist

The Tuskegee-Macon County Farmers Market is located on the corner of Elm and Spring Street Tuskegee, AL 36083 and is opened from 8am-2pm every Wednesday and Saturday. “An Evening at the Market” is held every 3rd Thursday (Subject to change please contact Demetrius Hooks ). The next one is Thursday, July 20th, 2017!

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