On Oct. 26 Illinois Stewardship Alliance and genHkids encouraged people to turn out in mass to their local farmers markets for the first Green Saturday.
Like Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when the official holiday shopping season begins and a lot of retailers’ balance sheets from red to black, Green Saturday is an opportunity for people to push farmers’ balance sheets into the black for the year.
“Farmers markets thrive in the summer but when fall hits, there are less and less shoppers at many of the markets yet there is still an abundance of local produce,” Lindsay Record, program director of Illinois Stewardship Alliance said. “It’s a shame to see the lost opportunity for both the farmers and consumers. We want to encourage people to go to the farmers market because it’s not over yet.”
Green Saturday is a day for people get some of the last of the bounty of the land for the season, and show their support for the people that grow their food in one of the best way possible – with their wallets.
“October is a great month to shop and stock up on items for the winter. Take a little extra time to talk with your farmers – they’ll be more than happy to give you tips on prepping, canning, freezing or otherwise storing produce. Shop Green Saturday and support your local farmer and economy,” Kemia Sarraf, genHkids founder and president, said.
A list of farmers’ markets throughout the state can be found at http://www.agr.state.il.us/markets/farmers/.
Illinois purchases $4.3 billion worth of food every year. Nearly $4 billion of that is spent on food raised out of state. If customers in central Illinois spent just 15 percent of their food budget on locally raised food, it would pump more than $600 million back into Illinois’ economy.
Green Saturday is just one way consumers can get fresh food raised locally, and help support their local communities and economies.