Northfield’s farmers’ market: are there really communal benefits to locally grown?

Northfield farmers’ marketJames McWilliams, author of the new book with the Northfield-oriented title Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly, has a guest post on the NY Times Freakonomics blog titled Do Farmers’ Markets Really Strengthen Local Communities? It got me thinking. And wondering whether his argument could be applied to locally owned retail stores. (continued)


Milling around the farmers’ market with like-minded foodies, buying fresh produce grown on nearby small farms, listening to local musicians play local songs, and supporting a variety of homegrown artisans certainly qualifies as an enriching community experience. But can we say with any assurance beyond anecdotal evidence that the thousands of farmers’ markets established over the last twenty years have brought together communities across the United States? If so, how? And for whom?


  1. Bright Spencer said:

    The Northfield Farmer’s Market acts like a magnet for me, my family and friends. The lessons in how to use foods, both old and new, the bumping into friends, the children playing, the coincidental meeting of other groups at the same time, the colorful stands with umbrellas, food,
    flowers, honey, baked goods, farmers with their lovely hats and buckets under the wonderful shade trees, who show up no matter what the weather…it’s a whole glorious novel in itself.

    October 7, 2009

Leave a Reply