Boise Farmers Market is a food-centric and agriculturally based market. Within our guidelines, the majority of the members must be agricultural. 95% of the vendors are food and agricultural products with 5% dedicated to non-food items.
Farmers markets have a long history of being more than merely a place to exchange goods. The Boise Farmers Market is committed to playing an important role in fostering new ideas in the regional food system. The Market is a place where the public can learn about the relationship of local food and farms to our health, our economy, and our culture.
The Boise Farmers Market focuses on local food, cultivating new farmers, incubating new food ideas, and creating a community space to learn about food and sustainability. This includes:
- Locally grown foods sold by the farmer
- Specialty on-site food vendors with a local emphasis
- Accountability to the customer. All goods sold at the Boise Farmers Market will be grown or made by the producer.
- Growing new farmers. Through an innovative partnership between established farmers and those exploring the occupation, the Boise Farmers Market will help ensure our local food supply.
Buying and eating local (100 mile radius) means more for the local economy. According to a study by the New Economics Foundation in London, a dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy.
Locally grown produce is fresher. While produce that is purchased in the supermarket or at a big-box store has been in transit or cold-stored for days or weeks, produce purchased at your local farmers market has often been picked within the last 24 hours. This freshness not only affects the taste of your food, it also affects the nutritional value, which declines with time.
Locally grown fruits and vegetables have longer to ripen. Because the produce will be handled less, locally grown fruit doesn’t have to endure the rigors of shipping. This means that you are going to be getting peaches so ripe that they fall apart as you eat them. Melons allowed to ripen until the last possible minute on the vine tastes much better than those gassed for transporting.
Buying and eating locally grown food keeps us in touch with the seasons. By purchasing and eating with the seasons, we are eating foods when they are at their peak taste, are the most abundant, and the least expensive.
Buying locally grown food makes for a great story. Whether it’s the farmer who brings apples to the market or the baker who makes bread, knowing part of the story about your food is a powerful part of enjoying a meal.
Buying and eating local helps protect us from bioterrorism. Food with less distance to travel from farm to plate is less susceptible to harmful contamination.
Local food translates to more variety. When a farmer is producing food that will not travel a long distance, will have a shorter shelf life, and does not have a high- yield demand, the farmer is free to try small crops of various fruits and vegetables that would probably never make it to a large supermarket.
Supporting local providers supports responsible land development. When you buy local, you give those with local open space – farms and pastures – an economic reason to stay open and undeveloped.