Though I love all types of agriculture production and sales, I have always been a fan of farmers’ markets. Perhaps its because I grew up helping my grandparents shuck fresh corn-on-the-cob, pick pumpkin blossoms, and sell cherry tomatoes to neighbors, but have always felt that farmers’ markets are a great way for the American consumer to reconnect with the amazing hard-working people that grow their food. Since I have recently become a resident of New York City again, I cannot wait to head down to Union Square tomorrow morning to see what fresh produce is available for my small Manhattan-sized kitchen.
Farmers’ markets have been popping up everywhere over the last few years. The total farmers’ markets has more than doubled since 1994. It’s not just a trend in metropolitan areas — for example, my hometown in rural Central Illinois (Shelbyville) starting having regular farmers’ markets the last few years. When I lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I loved the months when farmers’ markets were available at the Depot.
The New York Department of Agriculture, Farmers’ Market Federation of New York, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, New Jersey Markets Council of Farmers & Communities, Connecticut Department of Agriculture, and Connecticut Farm Fresh have some great information online of farmers’ markets in the tri-state area including locations in each county and the dates/times for the market. If you are looking for farmers’ markets in your neck of the woods, you can most likely find information through your State’s Department of Agriculture. There is also information on local farmers’ markets through social media such as facebook (e.g., Chicago Farmers Markets) and Twitter (e.g., @OhioFarmersMarkets.
The New Jersey Farm Bureau (“NJFB”) has been proactive in its efforts to help connect consumers and farmers in the Garden State. New Jersey consumers can search by county or produce type here online at NJFB’s website. If you are a New Jersey farmer and would like to be listed in NJFB’s directory, you can submit this application.
Even though its that time of year that is the cusp of summer and fall, there will be fresh produce available at most farmers’ markets well into October or November. For all you tri-staters, whether you live in the heart of Greenwich Village or in Newark, New Jersey there is a farmers’ market near you.