Farmers' markets showcase local growers' dedication.

It seemed fitting that when long overdue rain finally arrived, farmers' markets were starting up in the area.

One such event came Saturday in Garden City, with the farmers' market located in the parking lot at the corner of Fleming Street and Harding Avenue. The Saturday morning markets run through late September.

Local shoppers looking for fresh produce and other homemade and homegrown treats anticipate the gatherings that have long been a staple in the region. While farmers' markets early on don't include the full menu of items usually available in mid-summer, they still have plenty to offer --as well as a way of whetting the appetite for what's to come.

There's much to look forward to in homegrown tomatoes, sweet corn, cantaloupe and other fruits and vegetables featured throughout the summer at farmers' markets.

And there's even more to like about the entire process. Buying food grown locally is a good way to show support for the community, environment and overall wellness thanks to the availability of a greater selection of healthier fare in veggies and fruits in particular.

In a state where bigger farm operations continue to produce abundant, affordable food that helps feed the world, it's also encouraging to know a number of growers in our midst focus on smaller quantities of fresh produce and other treats that appeal to consumers.

Of course, they do so in difficult circumstances. Painful drought gripping the region has intensified, making it all the more difficult for anyone trying to grow vegetables and other crops regardless of the size of their operations.

The recent rainfall had to be refreshing to everyone involved, even if it was a drop in the bucket in a region still far below normal precipitation for the year.

If anything, seeing producers conquer the challenge of hot, dry, windy conditions in bringing tasty vegetables and fruits to market only makes those goods all the more delectable.

Enjoy the bounty this year's area farmers' markets have to offer, and do so knowing you're supporting the efforts of friends and neighbors eager to share the great fare they produce.