The recent growth of farmers markets across Appalachia is part of the effort of mountain farmers to survive in a national market dominated by large-scale agribusiness. The Department of Agriculture identifies more than 800 farmers markets throughout the region. One of the most notable is the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville, begun in 1977.
Shoppers flock to farmers markets for produce that is locally grown and superior in freshness, in variety and, often, in price to that found in supermarket chains. Many buyers feel they are benefiting their local community.
For the farmer it means direct access to the consumer and the opportunity to sell their goods at retail prices. Farmers markets are in the mountain tradition of self-sufficiency and barter which has kept communities strong.
Digital Heritage Moments are produced at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. To learn more, visit DigitalHeritage.org. You may also hear Digital Heritage Moments each weekday on radio stations WKSF-FM, WWCU-FM, WMXF-AM, WPEK-AM and WWNC-AM.