Farmers Market Week
It’s National Farmers Market Week. The name says it all “farmers market”; and frankly, where would they be without farmers. In the last two decades farmers markets have increased, grown and improved around the country. The USDA now registers more than 8,000 farmers markets in the U.S., an increase of over 3,000 markets in the last four years. The latest Census of Agriculture reported that direct sales of food products from farmers to individual consumers rose by nearly 50 percent between 2002 and 2007. Farmers and their local communities have obviously discovered that farmers markets are a win/win for everyone involved. Farmers hesitant at first to sell their produce directly to individual customers have admitted that they now feel quite differently - discovering that farmers markets gives them the opportunity to have face to face contact with the consumer. And consumers have the opportunity to meet the real “face behind the food”. Overall, farmers and their customers at the markets come away with a goodwill feeling. Combine that with the satisfaction of building a sustainable local food network, and it just doesn’t get any better than that.