The last decade has seen nothing short of a bonanza in farmers’ markets in America. Between 2007-2014, the number of farmers’ markets in the U.S. has grown by nearly 180 percent, according to a January 2015 USDA report. That’s accompanied by a 288 percent growth in regional food hubs and 430 percent in farm-to-school programs.
But the data also show that while food hub sales continue to climb, sales at farmers’ markets may have peaked.
So can farmers, especially ones who operate on a small scale, make enough money at farmers’ markets to make it worth their while? Or is the proliferation of farmers’ market we’ve seen over the last decade coming to an end?
Already home to iconic Faneuil Hall and the Haymarket open-air market, Boston’s new Boston Public Market sells only locally-produced fare.
The market, which opened on July 30, is unique due to its stringent focus on local. A whopping 92 percent of produce sold there comes from Massachusetts and the remaining 8 percent is from surrounding New England states, according to market manager Tiffani Emig.
Emig hopes the Boston Public Market can boost people’s passions for buying local, and in turn take food buying back to its roots. Currently the market has 37 vendors that sell an astounding variety of items ranging from dairy products, pastrami, honey, fish, meat, produce, beer, baked goods, wine, pasta, noodles, cider and more.
In a city known for recreation and tourism, Orlando’s East End Market offers its own attractions with chefs, artists, shops and a restaurant.
And this Central Florida food destination offers even more—in addition to its market, entertainment and education draws, East End Market is also a food hub, complete with educational opportunities and an incubator kitchen.
Just because the weather is frigid in many states across the nation, doesn’t mean local farmers aren’t producing killer produce. There’s no reason top forgo the pleasure and health benefits of connecting with your local farmers during the long, cold winter.
To that end, we’ve rounded up 5 cold-weather winter farmers’ markets that we think do a great job feeding their communities throughout the chilly, snow-covered season.
If we missed any winter farmers’ markets that you adore, please tell us about them in the comment section. We’d love to hear about what you buy at winter farmers’ markets, too.
One of the pleasures of late summer is a trip to a farmers’ market, when the fresh produce is in abundance. No pale-faced supermarket tomatoes here: vendor stalls overflow with the fruits of their labor, and there’s not a shrink-wrapped zucchini in sight. While a plethora of new farmers’ markets have been established in many communities in response to the growing demand for local food, but they are hardly a new concept.
Here are five markets still thriving, even hundreds of years after their founding.
News Release – WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Anne Alonzo announced over the weekend that USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory now lists 8,268 markets, an increase of 76 percent since 2008. The data reflects continued demand and growth of farmers markets in every region of the country. Alonzo also announced that AMS is developing three new local food directories that will expand USDA’s support for local and regional foods by providing easy access to the most current information about the local food market.
Local food growers, consumers and entrepreneurs in the Lansing, Michigan area have had good cause to celebrate as of late. Last September, Allen Neighborhood Center, a community development agency that doubles as Mid-Michigan’s nonprofit food hub, opened the doors of a warehouse they’d spent months renovating.
Located directly behind their community center on the city’s northeast side, that building, the Allen Market Place, now serves as an incubator kitchen and indoor market. It’s also linked to an online market called the Exchange, that connects regional farmers and food producers with commercial and institutional buyers in a 75-mile range of Lansing.
Most modern-day Americans never consider a career in farming. They may see it as impractical, nostalgic, or even unnecessary in a world full of mass-produced, easily-accessible, and seemingly endless food options. But with the downfall of the family farm and the declining integrity of American agriculture as a whole, the need for the next generation of farmers has never been greater than in recent decades.
In 2000, New York’s Greenmarket co-founder Bob Lewis not only recognized this need, but saw a potential solution: New York’s vibrant immigrant population. Despite the lack of farming fervor in the U.S., the agricultural lifestyle still thrives in many countries. As a result, immigrants often come to the U.S. with a wealth of farming know-how and experience, but with no productive outlet for their skills.