There’s just something special about fresh fruits and vegetables.

That’s why Farmer’s Markets are so popular.   The Farmer’s Market coalition estimates there are over 8,000 such markets operating across the United States.   (New York City has over 100 markets)

In South Dakota, a big market is the Falls Park Farmer’s Market, located in Sioux Falls.  Open every Saturday through October from 8am to 1pm, the market is a place for fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, flowers, baked goods, plants and much  more.

These items are straight from South Dakota growers and ready for your table or kitchen.

Like any other such market in the nation, it’s a great place to meet the folks who produce your food.  They’re happy to tell you all about how it comes to market.

But, just like their New York or Los Angeles brother farmers, they do have one thing in common:  they use water, and lots of it.

As a general rule of thumb, tomato plants require 1 to 2 inches of water each week, but a more accurate measurement is 1 inch of water, or 1 gallon of water, every 5 days.   Multiply that out over thousands of acres.   That’s a LOT of water.

That’s why it’s so important to get in touch with South Dakota 811 before you dig.

Farmers have a tough enough time of it as it is, fighting the weather and fluctuating values on their goods.  Don’t add to it by making them worry about their water supply.

For instance, did you know that you may need a water rights permit from the state depending on what you’re using the water for?

It’s been said that, next to air, water is our most valuable resource in South Dakota.  Don’t waste it.  ALWAYS use South Dakota 811 before you dig.  Using 811 to get underground infrastructure located prior to excavation reduces the chances of hitting something you shouldn’t to less than one percent.

So – 811, dig carefully, and reward yourself with a treat from the Falls Park Farmer’s Market.  It’s a winning combination!

Until next week, safe digging!

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