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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Orlando Farmers’ Market Offers Full Local Food Experience

January 7, 2015 |
Patrons of East End Market in Orlando, Florida gather for a harvest dinner. (photo courtesy of Heather Grove/East End Market)

Patrons of East End Market in Orlando, Florida gather for a harvest dinner. (photo courtesy of Heather Grove/East End Market)

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. Read More

5 Cold-Weather Farmers’ Markets to Keep You Fed This Winter

December 1, 2014 |
Badseed Market. Image courtesy of Badseed Market.

Badseed Market. Image courtesy of Badseed Market.

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. Read More

George Washington’s Produce: Five Historic Farmers’ Markets To Visit This Summer

August 19, 2014 |

Photo courtesy of Easton Farmers’ Market

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. Read More

New Data Reflects the Continued Demand for Farmers Markets

August 4, 2014 |

post_usdalogoNews 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. Read More

Michigan Market Serves Neighborhood with Incubator Kitchen, Indoor Market and Online Food Hub

July 22, 2014 |
Photo Courtesy of Allen Market Place

Photo Courtesy of Allen Market Place

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. Read More

Greenmarket Grooms the Next Generation of Farmers through its New Farmer Development Project

September 30, 2013 |
Photo Credit: GrowNYC

Photo Credit: GrowNYC

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. Read More

Seeing Opportunity for Local Food and Farmers, Entrepreneur Seeks to Launch Food Co-op in Riverside CA

September 25, 2013 |
William Cobb, founder of the Riverside Food Co-op. Photo credit: Riverside Food Co-op

William Cobb, founder of the Riverside Food Co-op. Photo credit: Riverside Food Co-op

A few years ago former Air Force veteran and commuter student, William Cobb, saw an opportunity to create a food cooperative in Riverside, CA. It was the combination of rich farmland and densely populated urban/suburban areas along with the absence of a sustainable and local food culture in Riverside that first caught Cobb’s attention. So, In 2010, he decided to move to Riverside permanently and began selling residents on the idea of a cooperative business model. They listened.

In 2011, the Riverside Food Co-op was formed. This grass roots effort to create a member owned local produce grocery store is quickly moving from a small endeavor into a community changing force for good.

“I feel like a food cooperative is the most basic kind of thing in the alternative economic and even food system paradigm that I was missing living here,” shares Cobb. Growing up in California, food cooperatives can become pretty ubiquitous. Read More

The Santa Monica Farmers Market – Where Every Farmer Has a Story to Tell and Bounty to Share

September 19, 2013 |
Panoramic shot of the storied Santa Monica Farmers Market. Photo Credit: Santa Monica Farmers Market

Panoramic shot of the storied Santa Monica Farmers Market. Photo Credit: Santa Monica Farmers Market

The Santa Monica Farmers Market is celebrated throughout metro Los Angeles as perhaps the best, most family-friendly and most diverse of markets in the county. Launched in July, 1981, the beachside town’s farmers market began with a mere 23 vendors. Since then, it has grown to include some 85 farmers from as far north as the Oregon border all the way down to Tijuana, and has expanded to run four days a week in three different locations across the city.

Laura Avery has been running the market almost since its inception and said she has been feeding her own family, her children and her grandchildren on the bounty found in the colorful market stalls.

“We started this market through a program then administered through the California Food and Agriculture Department, and they went out and recruited farmers for us,” Avery said. “It’s thanks to Jerry Brown, who was governor then and who passed the Retail Marketing Act that allowed us to operate, even though all the big retailers and shippers were totally against it.” Read More