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.
The Farmer’s Market Coalition says shopping at these person-to-person shops helps achieve three important goals:
- For farmers to earn fair prices for the fruits of their labor by selling directly to the people.
- Helping shoppers gain access to fresh, nutritious, local produce.
- For communities to regain a figurative “town square,” offering foot traffic and community connection.
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.
The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center offers links to information about markets for about half the country. See their map here.
The National Farmers Market Directory helps connect growers, vendors & various small businesses with consumers in their own local community. Find details about locations, operating times, reviews and more to connect you with these fantastic local food sources.
Local Harvest, founded in 1998, is 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 a free online database for finding fresh, locally-grown and sustainably-produced food in the United States and Canada. Search for markets now.
Why are local farmers’ 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.