The growth of Farmer’s Markets in the United States since 2000. Reports described a “boom” in markets since then, with markets sprouting across America. Since 1994, the USDA reports markets grew from around 1700 to 8100 according to their “National Count of Farmer’s Market Directory.” (Learn more about this growth here.)
My first introduction to Farmer’s Markets was at the great Union Square in New York City while I was an undergraduate student in New York City. Before the new Whole Foods there, this market was a hub for foodies and natural food lovers. I purchased cheese from the Amish regularly and indulged in fresh cookies while enjoying the interesting character of fellow shoppers. Only steps away from the legendary Strand bookstore, NYU, and awesome pubs, Union Square and this market was a hub for friends and I.
Since then, I have enjoyed the wide range of personality of several markets. The Red Bank market in New Jersey boasts a famous Vegan food truck, The Cinnamon Snail, widely sought after in the tri-state with delicious meals such as the 200 Year Old Frog Man Breakfast jamboree. More rural markets further from the New York area, are international in flavor, with fresh, “homemade” Indian, Mexican and Korean foods. Pike Place market in Seattle features the famous throwing fish men, noted in many business performance books.
Until recently, I never looked at the Farmer’s Market from a political perspective. Farmers and craftsmen are an extremely powerful, influential and critical part of America’s vitality. Their history and stories are essentially the backbone of America; even Thomas Jefferson prided himself as a farmer.
Farming is essential to American history, and farmer’s markets are one of the most important locations for studying that essential nature of American government: state and federal qualities.
In researching this topic, I recently discovered the blog Helping Public Markets Grow. This blog, written and managed by farming expert and advocate, Darlene Wolnik, is an incredible resource for studying the US farming market. This is the blog to follow for important news about the farming market movement, trends and legislation, trends that will impact every American’s quality of life.