The USDA Site Now Has a National Farmers Market Directory
Find farm fresh vendors, products, and local food sources with the fancy new feature that acts as an interactive guide to farmers markets across the country
Farmers markets are still pretty down to earth when it comes to advertising-most of us hear about our local chapter from word of mouth or by coincidentally driving by the right place on the right day and making a mental note to return. Now, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is helping with a tech upgrade: The USDA has launched a searchable national farmers market directory, allowing you to search for markets near you.
The listing has an interactive map and lets you filter through more than 8260 farmers markets by zip code and even the products sold at the market (like honey, grains, and even fresh juices). The USDA has included any market that has two or more farm vendors selling their goods in the same location week to week. The directory even offers a section for winter markets, so once summer starts winding down you won't have to quit your market cold turkey. (And you can try these 10 Winter Vegetables, Fruits, and More to Buy at the Farmers Market.)
The USDA also reports that farmers markets have grown 180 percent since 2006. The USDA credits this to hundreds of millions dollars in investments in these local food sources-while we like to point to the growing awareness of how important getting your five-a-day from whole, fresh sources is.
Looking at their map, it's clear there is still a huge opportunity (and need) for markets to crop up in underserved locations, like Utah and Nevada which each only have 40 in the directory (compared to New York's 661!). (And if you have too many to choose from, be sure to stop by The Best Farmers' Markets in the U.S.-a.k.a. tourist attractions for health nuts.)
For now, the USDA's directory is only available online. But if you're out wandering around and need to satisfy a hankering for a freshly-picked apple, you can try one of the great farmers market's apps out there, like Farmstand (free; iOS and Android).