Friday, August 5, 2011


Photo by Valerie Phillips
TODAY, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan hosted a conference call to announce the record growth of farmers markets across the country. According to the 2011 USDA National Farmers Market Directory, there are more than  1,000 new farmers markets nationwide this year, up 17 percent.

Why is this good news?  
- They give small farmers a chance to sell their products locally.
- They give buyers a chance to buy fresh-picked, local produce.
- They give buyers a chance to buy other local farm products such as meats, cheese, eggs, etc.  
- They are a "happening" event that attracts a lot of people, luring them to shop the stores or eat at the restaurants in the area. 
- It gives local artists opportunities to sell their arts and crafts, and local musicians performance possibilities.
- They bring a variety of people together.  

A few days ago, I ran a list  of   Utah's farmers markets, which has nearly tripled in the past five years. I have 42 marekts listed, and it's likely that there are more that I don't know about. So Utah is definitely part of the trend. 
Photo by Valerie Phillips

The top-10 for farmers market growth this year:

Alaska (35 markets, up 46 percent)
Texas (166 markets, up 38 percent)
Colorado (130 markets, up 38 percent)
New Mexico (80 markets, up 38 percent)
Indiana (171markets, up 37 percent)
Oklahoma (61 markets, up 32 percent)
South Dakota (29 markets, up 32 percent)
Pennsylvania (266 markets, up 31 percent)
Ohio (278 markets, up 31 percent)
Michigan (349 markets, up30 percent)

The top-10 states for number of recorded farmers markets:
California (729 markets)
New York (520)

Michigan (349)
Illinois (305)
Ohio (278)
Pennsylvania (266)
Massachusetts (255)
Iowa (237)
Wisconsin (231)
North Carolina (217)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I used to like Ogden's market, but they let anyone sell foods that are not local. Last week someone was selling pineapples and oranges!