Farmers’ markets abound in spring and summer months-so much that sorting out where to shop can make a person’s head spin! Once winter rolls around, it sometimes seems these wonderful resources disappear.
Reaching for your computer keyboard or the phone can make the search for the farmers’ market fit for your needs less of a guessing game. There are different avenues available to guide you to the fresh food you’re looking for.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service has a search engine that allows potential shoppers to filter results through a variety of parameters, from location to payment methods accepted. Simply fill out as many (or as few) sections as you like, and compare results. A map of results is also available. If you are unsure as to whether the market is open when during the season you’re shopping, be sure to call ahead.
Less detailed (and with fewer search parameters) is the National Directory of Farmers Markets and Fruit Stands. This Web site features a click-able map of the U.S., or a list of states. After clicking on your desired state, a list of results comes up. Some of the listings specify if the market is seasonal, and some listings include Web sites. Nearly all have contact information, so, again, be advised to call prior to dashing to the market, just in case.
A more roundabout option is contacting the city’s Chamber of Commerce. An easy way to find the contact information for just about any city’s Chamber is to click and type your way to the Chamber of Commerce national directory. It not only lists communities’ businesses, but has contact information for many communities’ Chamber of Commerce offices via a simple state-city search.
These are just a few ways to find fresh food in your area, without a hit-or-miss approach. Try each one to find the best fit, and don’t be afraid to test out a new location once in awhile-you never know what goodies you’ll find at different markets!
“Farmers Markets and Local Foods Marketing”, USDA Agriculture Marketing Service
National Directory of Farmers Markets and Fruit Stands
Chamber of Commerce-Small Business Services and Business Directory