New England Proves Fertile Ground for Farmers’ Markets

The data is in—more than 1,000 new farmers’ markets opened in 2011 across the country. “The remarkable growth in farmers markets is an excellent indicator of the staying power of local and regional foods,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “These outlets provide economic benefits for producers to grow their businesses and also to communities by providing increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other foods. In short, they are a critical ingredient in our nation’s food system.”

According to the USDA’s 2011 National Farmers Market Directory, there were 7,175 farmers’ markets operating throughout the U.S., a 17 percent increase from 2010. Data from 2010 shows 14% of that year’s listings were winter farmers’ markets. From the New England Farmers Union:

Although only one New England state (Massachusetts) made the nationwide list of 10 states with the most markets, the Northeast leads the way in farmers’ market density. Here’s a list of the number of farmers markets in each New England state in 2010:

• Connecticut – 146
• Maine – 88
• Massachusetts – 249
• New Hampshire – 76
• Rhode Island – 54
• Vermont – 99

*Click on the map for a closer look at the national distribution of farmers’ markets.

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