Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter Farmers Markets Expand to More than 1,200 Locations for Fresh Local Foods

According to the USDA, the number of winter farmers markets in the country has increased by 38 percent since 2010, from 886 to 1,225 total markets nationwide.  This means winter farmers markets account for 17 percent of the total number of markets, a promising and currently growing figure.  The USDA believes that much of this growth can be traced to the adoption of hoop house technology by small farmers as a way to lengthen their growing season and continue to offer fresh fruits and vegetables into the winter.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan gives some encouragement to those who are considering offering produce into the winter months: “Consumers are looking for more ways to buy locally grown food throughout the year.  Through winter markets, American farmers are able to meet this need and bring in additional income to support their families and businesses.”

If you're thinking about starting a farmer's market and want to learn more about the support the USDA can provide you, check out the article here.  If you're looking for a winter farmers market or CSA program near you (a great way to have delicious, healthy, local food year-round while supporting your local economy) or if you want to try out some new winter food recipes, check out our Winter Food Project webpage here

Happy Eating!
Melissa

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