Organizers of the first Farmer’s Market in Tsaile, Arizona, credit their success with a media blitz. The Diné Policy Institute – as part of its work to establish a regional food policy – held three farmers markets during the summer of 2012.  It advertised the first market on radio, in the tribal newspaper, with flyers and by word of mouth and had nearly 150 people attend to buy foods and other products from local producers. 

Farmer’s markets are a growing trend around the country and in Native communities. They range in size and scope from one or two farmers selling their goods to many different types of vendors selling foods, crafts and beverages. Tribally owned farmer’s markets benefit community members, tribal economies and the environment by: 

  • Increasing access to locally grown, fresh produce and foods to tribal members
  • Providing new opportunities for small farmers to sell their foods and connect directly with people buying them
  • Helping educate about the nutritional benefits of locally grown foods 
  • Establishing venues for non-food vendors like artists and crafters to sell their goods 
  • Encouraging organic practices for farmers 
  • Helping overall air quality by reducing the need to drive as frequently to far away grocery stores 
The Diné Policy Institute is also proud of providing small growers with value-added benefits of its farmers market. “The first market, we had a lot of people selling tomatoes and onions. At the second market, we started to see people selling salsas, too, made from their homegrown products,” says Dana Eldridge, policy analyst for the Diné Policy Institute. “The more people in the community who understand these value-added benefits, the more economic opportunities exist for tribes.”