A Good Start: USDA Reports Increase in Farmers Markets

The headline in my newspaper reads, “Demand feeds big growth of farmers markets in the U.S.” It is a headline that brings smiles for those of us who want to see more people zigzagging between the white canopy tents, toting canvas bags of bulging local, seasonal and fresh food.

According to a USDA report, the number of farmers market has increased — reflecting a positive shift in our collective relationship with food. The farmers market offers a venue to support farmers and other food producers who are committed to sustainable agriculture, and the preservation of soil and water. And the farmers market model organically reduces food waste naturally built into the grocery store distribution model.

However, change is slow. The raw numbers suggest that California leads the pack in farmers market totals followed by New York and Massachusetts. But when you look at per capita numbers the order is flipped, with California the largest producer of food trailing far behind New York. The numbers are as follows:

There are 45,577 people to every 1 farmers market in California.

There are 30,085 people to every 1 farmers market in New York.

There are 21,046 people to every 1 farmers market in Massachusetts.

This is in contrast to the number of fast food outlets in the United States:

There is 1 fast food restaurant for every 623 people.

A growth in farmers markets is to be celebrated but let’s be reminded that we have a long road ahead.

Read my past farmers market post.

4 thoughts on “A Good Start: USDA Reports Increase in Farmers Markets

  1. alvaradofrazier says:

    Wow, interesting stat’s. And I’m sure the number for California will grow larger, less farmers, I mean. In Camarillo there is a move to convert 740 acres of farmland into commercial building areas. It’s a beautiful scenic piece of land before the Conejo grade.


  2. katie metzger says:

    It seems to me we are hearing about more young people moving into farming occupations. Farmer markets are a natural venue for these up-in-coming farmers. So important to support those who are choosing to farm sustainably to keep this trend moving forward. Onward and upward!


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