In North America, we have all heard of the role Farmers’ Markets play in the 100 mile diet. In Europe the conversation is about the role they play in the “City of 15 minutes”
It is now a cult, a trend, a kind of refrain, even propaganda. The fact is that everyone wants the so-called “City of 15 minutes”. Originating from Paris, this model of a sustainable city was proposed by the Franco-Colombian Sorbonne urban planner, Carlos Moreno. The project was included in the 2020 electoral program of the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. In the meantime, it has begun to be talked about more and more often in Italy. The concept is to ensure citizens of large cities are able to access the services, places of work and leisure within an area that can be reached on foot within 15 minutes.
This interest makes us exclaim: how modern farmers markets are! Infact, the watchword of farmers markets has always been proximity. In this proximity, we find all the little icons that are dear to small farmers: community, freshness, tradition, rural culture, nature. Today, what we have always known is being rediscovered. At the root of sustainability (environmental, economic and social) there is a fundamental theme: human relationships. For this reason the World Farmers Markets Coalition, among its objectives, seeks to promote the growth of farmers’ market networks in the various countries already involved. We also wish to create new ones even in countries where they do not yet exist. It will certainly not be the only solution to environmental, social and economic crises but it represents a concrete and achievable response for cities that want to take the path of sustainability. We explain why: in neighborhood farmers markets, citizens can find food, friends, services and experiences. They does not find food from enormous distances away, they buy local food. Thus, proximity is not only in the meeting place between farmers and citizens, in the squares of urban centers but also in the products that come from the neighboring areas.
Look for the farmers’ market in your neighborhood. Perhaps you will find that it is within walking distance!