The Southwedge Farmers Market: It’s All the Panic!

Wow! Last weekend, I got a flier from a woman walking down Rockingham for the South Wedge Farmer’s Market. I’d meant to post a little sumpin-sumpin on the blog about it, and specifically about their grand opening on the 14th of this month, but it was a nice summer day and you know how that goes. . .

Well, the Rochester blogging community has positively lit up with activity about this new place, which is extremely good news for them. Mustard Street was the first to post, followed closely by Exile on RT. Gosh, does it even seem worth it to add to the chorus?

Of course it does! A place like this needs our support and deserves some recognition. Sure, the public market on Union St. is similar, but this one’s just for the Wedgies! Plus, it’s an opportunity to talk about some of the benefits of shopping at a farmer’s market, so let’s discuss!  

First of all, there is the economic impact of local shopping.  When you buy from large companies that are not from Rochester (Walmart, as one example), some of the money you spend pays local laborers, but most of it goes to a company far from here.  That means that the people getting paid will spend their money elsewhere, and is effectively removing Rochester money from the Rochester economy.

For you farmers, it’s a little like soil depletion: you grow crops using raw materials from the soil, then harvest the crops, and all those raw materials leave with the crops.  In economics, however, there’s no such thing as crop rotation; you’re just handing all the resources off to someone, ne’er to return.

Buying locally means keeping what you spend in the system.  Instead of enriching the lives of already-rich captains of industry, you contribute to the ongoing well-being of local farmers.  And remember, the Farmer Feeds Us, All.

Then there is the environmental impact of local shopping.  It’s almost counterintuitive in a society that takes travel for granted, but local shopping is a good way to keep your carbon rating low because the goods you buy don’t travel far and therefore waste less gasoline getting to your plate.  Even if you don’t buy into the whole global warming thing, what’s the worst that could happen if we were just a little bit more efficient and less wasteful?  And again, less of your money is going towards enriching Big Oil and more of it’s going to the people who actually made your food.  That’s why the South Wedge Farmer’s Market’s flier says “Choose the Food Less Traveled.”

So, lots of good reasons to shop at the SWFM, eh?  Better yet, couple that with a trip down the road a piece to the South Wedge Green Grocer on South Avenue across from Beale Street and get down with the efficient green living in the Wedge!

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.