How to find the farmers market closest to you


A farmers market in Monterey Park, Calif., in July. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

In case you did not know, this week is National Farmers Market Week, a celebration of “the myriad benefits of farmers markets for producers and consumers,” as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack wrote in his official proclamation.

There are a lot of farmers markets in the United States, though obviously some areas have a higher concentration than others. Just 10 states (California, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia and Missouri) account for nearly half of all markets nationwide.

The Department of Agriculture’s national directory lists more than 8,200 farmers markets in the U.S., more than double the number seen a decade ago and significantly more than even five years ago:


(U.S. Department of Agriculture)

If you’re looking for the closest farmers market, search the Agriculture Department’s directory. It also lets you break it down by payment options so you can see which markets accepts things like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. (Smithsonian has also put together a nice-looking map that lets you find the farmers markets in your area.)

More than 2,800 markets accept SNAP as of this writing; you can find a complete list here. [UPDATE: And that number rises to more than 5,000 total options accepting SNAP if you also count roadside markets and pick-your-own facilities, according to the Agriculture Department's Food and Nutrition Service. The service also has a map showing which markets and stores accept SNAP.]

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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