Why the struggle to buy local produce? As the population has shifted to buying in grocery stores, rather than farmer markets seem to be a struggle. It’s shifting in 2023
But that changed to a realization that local food was a good thing. Now farmers markets and farm stores are the preferred way of shopping for many urban and rural families.
Despite the many downsides of the pandemic, it prompted a sudden concern about where food came from. As grocery shelves emptied, consumers flocked to tiny corner stores, farm stores and later, when they were open, farmers markets.
From 2019 to 2022, sales in Canadian farmers markets grew 19 per cent, even though they were often closed because of COVID restrictions. According to Statistics, 53 per cent of Canadians say they want to buy local food.
Yet it still was a struggle to get people to buying local produce and food.
From the early beginnings of a $10 table to sell your beets or bread, the local market today is part of the fabric of communities that want information directly from the person who grew the food, baked the bread or put those jams in jars. They are curious and knowledgeable, and those in Gen-Z also believe that what they eat today affects their body in the future.
A farmers’ market is a physical retail marketplace intended to sell foods directly by farmers to consumers. Farmers’ markets may be indoors or outdoors and typically consist of booths, tables or stands where farmers sell their produce, live animals and plants, and sometimes prepared foods and beverages.
Farmers’ markets exist in many countries worldwide and reflect the local culture and economy. The size of the market may be just a few stalls or it may be as large as several city blocks. Due to their nature, they tend to be less rigidly regulated than retail produce shops.
They are distinguished from public markets, which are generally housed in permanent structures, open year-round, and offer a variety of non-farmer/non-producer vendors, packaged foods and non-food products .Wikipedia
Here’s a list of all the farmers markets in the USA https://nfmd.org/browse/
As of mid-2011, there were approximately 7,200 farmers markets operating throughout the U.S. Currently, there are more than 9973 farmers markets nationwide. An 18% increase since then.
The top states, in terms of the number of markets in the directory, includes California (about 844 markets), New York (about 746 markets), Ohio (about 403 markets), Michigan (about 398 markets), Illinois (about 373 markets), and Pennsylvania (more than 367 farmers markets). Together, they account for about 31 percent of all the farmers markets listed in the farmers market directory today. according by— The National Farmers Market Directory
I’ve certainly noticed a change that people asking “Why the struggle to buy local produce?” At the farmers markets for their family. Sprouts stores are re-appearing again, I certainly don’t consider them a farmers market, even though they call themselves one.
I do encourage you to take advantage of checking a market or two and learn more about the farmers, what they produce and why. Ask questions, I have always found them helpful. Especially when it’s a vegetable that I have never seen before and want to know how to cook it.
Love to hear what you are making from shopping at the Farmers Markets.
Until next time, blessings