Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Old MacDonald Had a Farm


By Sherry Gordon-Harris, Health Alliance

One of my favorite childhood nursey rhyme songs is “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” It was super-duper fun to sing ee-i-ee-i-o! Not to mention singing the sounds of some animals he had on his farm. The cows said moo-moo! The chicks said cluck-cluck! And the pigs said oink-oink!

As an adult, I wonder, “What other animals did Mr. MacDonald have on his farm?” And did he grow any vegetables? When I attend farmers markets today, I mostly see fresh produce, fruits, and vegetables. I also see some value-added products made with the produce, such as canned jams, canned salsa, and zucchini breads. I’ve seen one or two farmer vendors that sold frozen beef, chicken, and pork. They were no longer saying moo-moo, cluck-cluck, or oink-oink!

The first week of August is National Farmers Market Week. This year, it will be August 2 – 8. Some communities celebrate National Farmers Market Week with fun events, food, music, craft vendors, resource vendors, specials, contests, and activities.

Celebrating National Farmers Market Week is a great opportunity to show the nation how much value markets bring to their communities. Farmers markets make positive impacts on their communities’ health and wealth.

Farmers markets help do several things, including the following:

  • Preserve farmland
  • Stimulate local economies
  • Increase access to nutritious foods
  • Support healthy communities
  • Promote sustainability

Health Alliance™ supports the purposes of local farmers markets. A partial list of farmers markets in areas we serve includes:

  • Peoria Riverfront Market – Peoria, IL
  • Galesburg Farmers Market – Galesburg, IL
  • Kankakee Farmers Market – Kankakee, IL
  • Edgebrook Farmers Market – Rockford, IL
  • Macomb Farmers Market – Macomb, IL
  • Champaign Farmers Market – Champaign, IL
  • Old Capitol Farmers Market – Springfield, IL
  • Freight House Farmers Market – Davenport, IA

As you visit your local farmers markets, remember Mr. Old MacDonald and his farm. You may even see a friendly face of a local Health Alliance community liaison.

To find nearby farmers markets, you can search on the National Farmers Market Directory website, NFMD.org.

Sherry Gordon-Harris is a Community Liaison at Health Alliance. She’s a wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys traveling, collecting dolls, and hosting princess parties and pageants. Like this article? Feel free to respond to Longview@HealthAlliance.org. Thanks for reading!