With the Searcy Farmers’ Market opening last weekend, there is much excitement from the regular shoppers and the farmers. For many of the farmers at the market, they started growing produce for their own families. As time passed, the quantity of produce grew so large the families could not consume it all themselves, so they decided to sell their leftovers at the farmers’ market.
Shopping locally not only keeps the money within the town of Searcy, but it also supports the farmers and could potentially provide more jobs. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, public support for 500 farmers’ markets every year could create up to 13,500 jobs in a five-year period.
Local farmers provide healthier, more flavorful produce. When a large corporation ships their products across the country, the produce loses some of its nutrients and flavor, accordingt to Amanda Louks, a farmer at Beyond the Garden Gate Herb Nursery. She also said most of the items sold at the farmers’ market are organic and encourages Harding students to use fresh farm products to prepare meals.
“Come down and buy your fresh stuff, go back to your apartment at Harding, make something fresh out of the locally grown produce,” Louks said. “How wonderful is that? Most of the things here are organic. You can’t beat that. If you want a healthy life, start putting healthy things in your body.”
Here are a few farms and markets to visit in the Searcy area:
Searcy Certified Farmers’ Market:
The Searcy Farmers’ Market is located next to the courthouse and features produce from farms across White County. Organic eggs, herbs, varieties of vegetables and homemade baked goods will be sold on Saturdays 8 a.m.-noon and Tuesdays 4 – 6 p.m. The market opened April 18 and will run through November.
Beyond the Garden Gate Herb Nursery:
Beyond the Garden Gate Herb Nursery started selling produce at the Searcy Farmers’ Market one year ago, however, they have been farming for several years. Beyond the Garden Gate grows and sells herbs, fresh-cut flowers and small vegetables like tomatoes and peppers.
The nursery is located in Judsonia, Ark. but the easiest way to buy their products is at the farmer’s markets. Their nursery hours are Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Five Acre Farm:
Five Acre Farm began in 2009 with a mission of growing food without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Today they are living out their dream by selling organic foods such as onions, garlic, broccoli, kale and a variety of other greens and peppers at the Searcy and Batesville Farmers’ Markets.
The farm is located in Pleasant Plains, Ark. For more information contact Brandon Gordon at 501-412-0817.