I have blogged before about my belief that the growth of community gardens around the country and the growing concern about regional sustainability is a move of God. I also think that God is involved in the concurrent rapid growth of Farmers markets which not only encourage regional sustainability but also enable us to once more get to know the people who produce our food and sustain us through their hard work and long hours of often back breaking labour.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that the 2010 National Farmers Market Directory lists 6,132 operational farmers markets, representing 16 percent growth over 2009 when the agency reported 5,274. The 2010 National Farmers Market Directory results are being released as part of National Farmers Market Week declared by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack between Aug. 1-7, 2010.
“Seeing such continued strong growth in the number of U.S. farmers markets indicates that regional food systems can provide great economic, social and health benefits to communities across the country,” said Vilsack. “Farmers markets provide fresh, local products to communities across the country while offering economic opportunities for many producers of all sizes.”
But where are these markets you might wonder?
- Top 10 states with the most farmers markets: California (580), New York (461), Illinois (286), Michigan (271), Iowa (229), Massachusetts (227), Ohio (213), Wisconsin (204), Pennsylvania (203) and North Carolina (182); and
- Top 10 states, by percentage, with market growth from 2009-2010: Missouri (77), Minnesota (61), Idaho (60), Michigan (60), Indiana (47), South Dakota (46), Arkansas (41), Washington (37), Ohio (36) and Oklahoma (31).
And if there isn’t a market near you the USDA even offers help on how to start one. Read more
God is at work in our world. So lets get out and celebrate. Lets not just become cursory visitors to the local farmers market but lets become active participants in them and join in yet another way in which God’s kingdom is breaking into our world.