By Ron Childers| August 11, 2017 at 1:22 AM CDT - Updated August 16 at 8:44 AM
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC)
It's National Farmers Market Week and in the Mid-South agriculture and farmers markets go hand in hand.
In recent years, farmers markets have blossomed around the area making locally grown fruit, vegetable, and dairy products accessible to more people.
Studies show that more than 60 percent of vendors travel less than 20 miles to sell their produce and dairy products at local markets. This reduces the transportation carbon footprint of food in a small but meaningful way.
Local farmers also tend to employ methods that have a smaller environmental footprint than commercial growers.
A 2015 study found 3 out of 4 farmers at local markets used organic methods of growing and 81% employed healthy soil practices like cover cropping, reduced tilling, and compost application for fertilization.
The method of cover cropping alone reduces soil erosion, weed development, enhances water availability, and overall soil health.
This combined with other soil management practices has the potential to store 200 million tons of carbon dioxide in soil per year in the U.S.
That equates to removing the emissions of nearly 42 million cars. The extra carbon stored in the soil also helps to make a more fertile soil.
By supporting local farming and farmers markets you are helping to make for a healthier environment and you.
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