Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Soulard Media Event Success

Saturday, August 4 the Missouri Dept. of Agriculture held the Missouri Farmers’ Market Week Media Event at the Soulard Market in downtown St. Louis.

(Photo: Director Smith and Mayor Slay making purchases at the Soulard Market, August 4.)

The historic Soulard Market, owned and operated by the city of St. Louis, is the oldest farmers’ market in the country. Farmers and other vendors sell their products from a series of outdoor and indoor stalls Wednesday through Saturday. Some stalls have been in the same family for several generations.

Other photos from the event: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5

In a proclamation signed by Gov. Matt Blunt, August 5-11 was declared a week of recognition and awareness for the many producers that contribute to farmers’ markets across the state. Director Smith read the proclamation and presented Don Mitchell, a Neelyville, Missouri farmer/produce that has sold at the Soulard Market for more than 15 years. (Director Smith and the Mitchell family.)

“Farmers’ markets in our state continue to thrive and provide fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the farm,” said Katie Smith, director of MDA. “This is a great opportunity to support our local producers and take advantage of the many local products in your area. Farmers’ markets not only offer consumers a fresh choice when it comes to food products, but they also offer many communities an economic advantage.”

Missouri Farmers’ Market Week, coinciding with National Farmers’ Market Week, was kicked off by an event held Saturday, Aug. 4 at the Soulard Farmers’ Market in St. Louis. Director Katie Smith was joined by Mayor Francis Slay in reading Gov. Blunt’s proclamation of continued support for the development, operation and expansion of farmers’ markets in Missouri. The Soulard Farmers’ Market is the oldest existing farmers’ market in Missouri dating back to 1779.

“Missouri is home to over 120 farmers’ markets and there has been an increased popularity in the past five years,” said Smith. “Investing in farmers’ markets is rewarding for many communities and continues to help in the promotion of nutrition education, wholesome eating habits and better food preparation. Many consumers are looking for more options when it comes to farm fresh foods; farmers’ markets provide those choices.”

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