The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Farmers' market

Farmers' markets are markets, usually held out-of-doors, where farmers can sell their produce to the public. Products at such markets are renowned for being locally-grown, very fresh, and sold directly to the public, without going through a middle man. Farmers' markets often feature additive-free and organic produce.

Farmers' markets are a traditional way of selling agricultural and home manufactured products. A weekly market day is a part of normal life in villages and town squares throughout the world. A good way for a traveler to sample local foods and learn about local culture is to attend market day, when it coincides with a festival, such as the Fiesta de San Antonio in many towns in Latin America.

In the US and Canada, farmers' markets have taken off in popularity due in part to the increased interest in healthier foods and lifestyles. New markets appear regularly, and existing markets, some well over a century old, are seeing renewed growth. Market quality varies, so it's always worth looking around and chatting with the individual vendors. Some markets are carefully managed, with strict rules for pricing, quality and vendor selection. Others are much more relaxed in their vendor criteria. While the usual emphasis is on locally-produced food and crafts, it is not uncommon to find stands reselling produce bought at wholesale depots and regular commercial goods.

Some farmers' markets are mostly wholesale, such as the South Carolina State Farmers' Market , which is a major eastern supplier of watermelons, cantaloupes, and peaches for produce buyers from northeastern US. Farmers' markets also may supply buyers from produce stands , restaurants, and garden stores with fresh fruits and vegetables, started garden plants, nursery stock, honey, and other agricultural products. The largest wholesale farmers market in the world is the Hunts Point Cooperative Market in the South Bronx in New York City.

In France and other European countries, there exist street markets, as well as covered marketplaces, where both resellers and producers sell to the public.

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Last updated: 05-31-2005 16:37:09
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46