Each week from May to October, Price County-area residents support local farmers while also stocking up on whole foods that support a healthy diet.
Flambeau Hospital in Park Falls coordinates that community’s farmers market, now in its 10th season.
The confluence of economic development, improved community nutrition and, in most seasons, an intergenerational social experience makes the market an asset for public health.
The 2020 season included many precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the pandemic underscored a renewed value in home cooking, food preservation and desire to shop in the safety of the open-air market. These conditions allowed the event to flourish.
The market uses cash transactions; a system of gift certificates, purchased by others and used at any vendor’s table; and the state FoodShare program, which already surpassed last season’s total deposits by 191%.
The market continues to offer an educational component of seasonal recipes and food storage information shared at the event, in the local newspaper and on social media.
Linda Daubner, lead organizer and a Marshfield Clinic Health System certified registered dietitian and diabetes educator, said, “the market’s success centers on participation of a dedicated group of vendors who range in age from their 30s to their 90s. Each week, an average of 10 farms support a steady flow of customers who appreciate items that complement our local grocery stores. The market offers more people access to healthier food choices and strengthens our community, too.”