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This week I will be focusing on two untapped and increasingly important aspects of our society, and analyzing the benefits of each. There is no correlation between these two extremely helpful constructs of our society, except for the fact that with the education gained in this blog meaningful improvements can be gained in our personal and professional lives.  The first element of this blog, farmers markets, can benefit our health, the environment, and is available in cities across the country.  The second focal point of this blog is less of a physical object and more of a group of tactics that is quickly becoming common knowledge for companies that utilize the Internet as a place of business, it is search engine optimization (SEO).  In the next 300 words I will provide quick and easy ways to find the most convenient farmers markets around you, and display ways for you to take advantage of basic SEO steps through illustrating tactics that farmers from farmers markets should implement with their website.

screen-shot-2010-09-13-at-53821-pmFirst and foremost I want to give you the tools to locate the nearest farmers markets to you.  These weekly or bi-weekly opportunities to buy produce directly from the farmers who grow it enables you to support local business, control the foods that you eat, and support business that believe in preserving the environment.  Go to this website www.localharvest.org and type in your city.  You will be provided with farmers markets in your area, restaurants, grocery stores and food based events that specialize in sustainably grown food in your area.  If that helpful search engine happens to be down, or you want a second opinion here is another farmers market search engine, brought to you by the Agriculture Marketing Service.

I also just want to highlight a few outstanding vendors at one of my favorite farmers markets, Summer Harvest for their great selection of fruits, Weiser Family for their great vegetable selection, and the Olson Family Farm stand for their great service and dedication to high quality produce.

screen-shot-2010-09-13-at-65824-pm There are many social and practical factors that are contributing to the growing tendency to shop at farmers markets, but this natural push needs to be accompanied by some level of marketing in order to pull more consumers towards this trend.  A great candidate for reaching out to people about this topic is Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) and Social Media Optimization ( SMO ).  Companies like Olson Family Farms need to follow the example of the latest food truck trend, and reach out to their customers, provide platforms where fans can share stories or recipes, tweet what farmers market they will be attending, update their sites with coupons or their latest fruits.  All of these tactics will increase their chance of being noticed by Google, and draw much more attention towards their farm.

I would like to thank all of the vendors that I mentioned above for answering my questions while attending to their eager guests, also the Mari Gold Cafe and the Myan Delicacy for providing one of the best lunches I have eaten in a long time.  If you have any favorite vendors from farmers markets please leave their name and where to find them in a comment below.



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