Health benefits of fresh produce are well-known. They're low in calories, high in nutrients and reduce the risk of heart disease. They also provide a financial benefit, allowing consumers to directly support local agriculture.
But first, you have to have access to it.
"We have no farmers' market for this community on the north side," Kong Xiong, manager for the La Crosse City Hall Farmers' Market, said.
That's why a market that's made La Crosse's City Hall parking lot its home for the past three years is heading north. They'll set up on the 1200 block of Caledonia Street, an area in the midst of a revitalization effort.
"One of the great ideas was a farmers market," Ty Striebel, owner of Old Towne Strings on Caledonia Street, said. "It's a little late in the game, but the thought was to find one that's already in place and bring it here."
This is the third move for this particular farmers' market. After spending years in the old Lot C that is now Belle Square, they spent a season in Riverside Park before finally making a home at city hall. Xiong said the surrounding dense residential area near Caledonia Street makes the market's new location a perfect fit.
"The residential north side community will be more available," Xiong said. "I really believe [this location] will be the best."
Striebel also said it will give the neighborhood better access to healthier foods that aren't always available.
"There isn't a dependable grocery store that we can use," Striebel said. "So we choose convenience stores or fast food for our nutrition."
Striebel said there are a number of small logistical items to work out between the businesses that own the parking lot where the market is to be held but following that, they will be clear to set up by Saturday, May 19. The farmers' market will be open every Saturday throughout the summer.