Supporting local farmers

Published 9:24 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Suffolk boasts more than 1,155 farms with more than 59,000 acres of agriculture production, according to city officials.

While agriculture provides some beautiful scenery many months of the year, it’s more than just an export.

Suffolk agriculture production may have served as the city’s foundation and economic base, but it also provides a charming (and delicious) aspect of Suffolk — the roadside markets with handwritten signs that can be found in every part of the city and the three-days of farmers’ markets that take place throughout the city.

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In today’s world, it becomes increasingly hard to find fresh, local produce. Suffolk residents, however, don’t have that problem.

Most people living in Suffolk probably pass a stand or market on their way home from work.

Granted, grocery stores offer a wide and convenient selection of fruits and veggies, but while everyone is hurting in some way or another from the economy, let’s not forget the local farmers who are hurting, especially in light of the summer.

This summer has brought temperatures both higher and faster than the ideal for local crops.

The Extension agency and farmers alike are saying the corn crop may see up to a 50-percent yield loss, because it didn’t rain when the ears of the corn were developing.

For the most part, that corn isn’t used for human consumption. Still, however, there are some farmers growing sweet corn in Suffolk and the surrounding area, and they need your support.

From corn to beans to tomatoes to watermelon, you can find what you need to put on your table. It not only shows support for your local Suffolk farmers, but it keeps the cash in the locality and ensures Suffolk’s agricultural base stays strong.

Whether you’re driving down East Washington Street, turning onto Wilroy Road from Nansemond Parkway or on Route 58, in the heart of Suffolk’s farming community, you can find a stand with fresh choices.

If it’s a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday you can visit some of your local farmers at one of Suffolk’s farmers’ markets.

Suffolk’s longtime downtown farmers’ market is held Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the market at Governor’s Pointe is held every Friday evening. Vendors at both markets offer local meats, seafood, produce, breads, desserts and a host of arts vendors.

Stop in and see what they have to offer. You’ll be supporting them and taking home something tasty for dinner, all at the same time.