At a farmers’ market, groups of farmers gather to sell their products, giving the general public a great way to get fresh, tasty and healthy produce.
Fortunately, these markets are becoming more and more popular, as interest in organic food and non-GMO foods — not to mention supporting local businesses while saving money — gain more support.
If you’re looking to find local farmers’ markets, here are a few places to start your search!
To market, to market
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service keeps a comprehensive list of more than 8100 farmers’ markets all across the country– markets that feature two or more farm vendors selling agricultural products directly to customers at a common, recurrent physical location. Access their searchable database at usda.gov to find a few locals.
Local Harvest, founded in 1998, is now a top informational resource for the Buy Local movement. Check out the Local Harvest farmers’ market list here. The site will also direct you to nearby Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups, so you can even buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.
Eat Well Guide/Sustainable Table offers free a online database for finding fresh, locally-grown and sustainably-produced food in the United States and Canada. Search for markets now.
Real Time Farms is crowd-sourced nationwide food guide with organized information about farmers’ markets near you that will be open this week, as well as markets that are open during other times of the year. Explore their searchable maps here.
Finally, once you find local farmers’ markets, visit American Farmland Trust’s I Love My Farmers Market Celebration to help raise national awareness about local farmers markets, and to put money directly in the pockets of family farmers.
Why are the markets so popular?
The USDA notes that farmers’ markets are an integral part of the urban/farm linkage and have continued to rise in popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm.
Farmers markets allow consumers to have access to locally-grown, farm fresh produce, and enables farmers the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with their customers.