Summer at the market is a wonderful time, but have you ever considered how much effort goes into bringing all of your favorite foods to market? We’ve only just begun to reap the benefits of this year’s planning and preparation. This is the time of year when local farmers are getting their hands dirty and putting in extra hours to ensure a successful harvest.
From early morning planting sessions to late night harvests, our farmers work tirelessly to bring us the freshest fruits and vegetables possible. But they can’t do it alone. They rely on supportive communities, like the one found here at the market, to create a thriving agricultural ecosystem.
So, the next time you’re enjoying your favorite summertime snack, take a moment to think about all of the hard work that went into making it possible. And remember, when you support your local farmers, you’re supporting your entire community.
Planning crops and crop schedule
An important aspect of being a farmer is selecting what to grow. Months ahead of time, plans are made to ensure that enough crops will be available throughout the season. A crop calendar is established to show when planting should start and when harvest may be expected.
Planting begins as soon as the timetable is set, assuming mother nature cooperates. Planting might take over weeks or even months, depending on how many items are produced and how much space is available to work with. Not only must the crops be planted, but they must also be fertilized in order for them to produce the maximum yield.
Tending and maintaining crops
Crop maintenance is essential to making sure that farmers (or farm hands) can get their crops off safely, and it doesn’t miss any problems. This may be done through either visual inspections or poking around underneath leaves with tools such as sticks for early detection before diseases have a chance of spreading throughout an entire field, which would impact all subsequent harvest yields if left unchecked.
There are many factors that affect the harvesting process, but one thing remains constant – it must be done quickly once ripe. Some veggies like tomatoes and peppers need quick access to markets or else they’ll spoil before reaching their peak flavor; therefore these products can only be harvested when red in color (or nearly so). Root crops such as potatoes on the other hand can be harvested much earlier and then stored in a cool, dark place until ready to be sold.
Once the crops are harvested, they need to be transported to the market as soon as possible to avoid any deterioration in quality. This is especially true for fruits and vegetables that bruise easily.
Cleaning and prepping for sale at market
After the products have been harvested, it’s time to prepare them for sale. This is another phase that varies from one product to the next. When selling fresh fruits, it is crucial that they appear as attractive as possible since this will enhance its overall look and guarantee sales. Because dirt and other flaws can affect the quality and/or shelf life of fruits, they must be washed thoroughly and carefully. After being examined for bruising or other damage, they are ready for sale.
Day at the market, selling and delivering.
Since fresh food is perishable, all of these variables must be considered and integrated in such a manner as to provide as much as possible each week. Fresh markets also have a greater probability of having weekly returning customers, who like to buy specific crops because they know how fresh the ingredients are at that market.
As you can see, there is a tremendous amount of effort that goes into being a farmer. These farmers are in the business of growing, harvesting, cleaning, and delivering fresh produce to you every week. It only takes a few minutes for you to purchase them, but it’s taken many hours for these hard-working people to make your food as amazing as it is.
Take time to tell them “thank you” for their hard work every time you buy from them.
How to get to the Farmers Market in Golden Valley
Parking is limited, so consider carpooling or if you are local, gather up the family and walk on down.