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With a growing consumer interest in the local food movement, farmers markets are establishing themselves in town squares, neighborhood churches and city parks. In large communities and small it is becoming easier to buy locally-grown produce. The success of these markets can be attributed to the fact that, deep down inside, it feels good to look the farmer in the eye and shake his or her hand.
Arkansas is a historically agricultural state and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture is preserving that rich heritage with theirArkansas Grown program, which aims to promote local growers. With hundreds of locations offering markets and on-farm sales, there is a local source of food near you. Consider visiting these thriving markets for Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made products and visit Arkansas Grown to find a producer or market near you.
Siloam Springs Farmers Market (Northwest Arkansas)- Located in historic downtown Siloam Springs, this market offers a small town atmosphere with a variety of vendors that offer baked goods, local produce, pastured meats and handmade jewelry, just to name a few. When asked what sets the Siloam Springs Farmers Market apart, market manager Stacy Hester replied, “The relationships that have been built between the vendors and customers.”
Old Washington Farmers Market (Southwest Arkansas)- Surrounded by 18th century homes and museums, the Old Washington Farmers Market harkens back to a simpler time with old time music and from-scratch baked goods. Woodworkers, published authors and park guides in period dress combine with Arkansas Grown products to make this market not only a place to shop, but an event to experience.
The Dirty Farmers Community Market (North Central Arkansas)- More than just a clever name, this Clinton, AR market’s mission is to provide consumers with affordable, high-quality Arkansas Grown produce along with handmade arts and crafts. The on-site restaurant, The Greater Good Cafe, offers lunch on weekdays where consumers can “Eat what you need, Pay what you can.”
Alive After Five (Northeast Arkansas) – The name of this Jonesboro farmers market says it all. From 5 to 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month from March through November, more than 50 vendors — farmers, crafters and artists — set up downtown for a community event. Special attractions at this monthly event include free movies and music.
Conway Farmers Market (Central Arkansas)- With locally grown produce, fishing jigs, jams, jellies and meats, this biweekly market offers something for everyone. You can even spoil your pooch with natural dry dog shampoo. Beat the heat during these long summer days with this market which opens at 6:30 a.m. for the early birds.
The list of Arkansas Farmers Markets is long and impressive. Thanks to the hardworking farmers and crafters located in this fine state, it’s easy to buy Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made.
Arkansas Women Bloggers member Tiffany Selvey is a Master Gardener who writes about her passion for growing, cooking and living naturally. When she’s not elbow deep in soil, she enjoys raising a very active son, laughing with her husband, and wrangling their pets.