Friday, August 2, 2013

National Farmers' Market Week Begins Sunday

National Farmers' Market Week runs from Aug. 4-10.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is kicking off the week with an announcement Saturday at a Washington D.C. market of how many markets are registered in the 2013 National Farmers' Market Directory.

Go to to search the Farmers Market Directory. Once at this site, you can plug in where you live by zip code and how many miles you are willing to travel. Hit search and a great list of farmers' markets will pop up, telling you what is sold there, where they are located and hours of operation and if they take WIC, SNAP or credit cards.

The full Farmers Market Directory, which can be found at this link, also identifies new farmers' markets, the states with the highest number of markets in operation and the total number of farmers' markets that have registered throughout the United States.

The number of farmers' markets in the United States and New York state is increasing. The USDA stated there were 6,132 farmers markets in the country in 2010, 7,175 in 2011 and 7,864 in 2012.

In New York, there were 575 farmers' markets in 2012, 520 farmers’ markets in 2011 and 500 in 2000. Diane Eggert, executive director of the Farmers' Market Federation of New York based in Fayetteville, said the 2013 count is more than 600. 

And just think, in 2000 there were a mere 235 farmers’ markets in the state.

The new updated National Farmers Market Directory lists 8,144 farmers markets, up from about 5,000 in 2008. 

Farmers' market managers voluntarily supply their market information to the USDA directory providing a snap shot of the number of markets that have registered with the directory.

Farmers' markets are important not only to the farmers selling their goods, but they also are key to consumers. The whole locavore or buy local movement — people who want to buy food grown locally — has pushed the number of farmers’ markets and those buying at farmers’ markets into the stratosphere.

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