USDA Makes It Easier Than Ever to Find the Best Farmers Markets

Finding a farmers market has never been easier.

And, you have the USDA to thank for it. The agency has launched a new section on its website that makes it super easy to search through its national directory of registered farmers markets. You can even pinpoint specifics like markets that accept food stamps, or markets that sell fresh bread as well as lettuce.

“The site lets you search for farmers markets by location, available products, accepted payments and even, bizarrely, the type of location,” reports the Huffington Post. “This last option will surely be a boon to those with a strict policy of only patronizing farmers markets located in religious institutions or closed-off streets.”

To make it even easier, the USDA gave this data to app developers so there are now quite a few apps that can help users find the closest and most appropriate farmers market.

According to the Huffington Post, the USDA's new search tool is “fast and user-friendly, and is closer to the source of information than any of these other contenders.”

But, says the Post, it also serves another important function: a reminder that the farmers market movement is certainly on the upswing and a central part of the nation’s changing relationship with food. “Not so long ago, farmers markets were rare enough -- at least outside affluent pockets of California -- that there would have been no point in looking for a very specific type of farmers market,” says the Post. “If you even knew about the joys of farmers market shopping, you would take what you could get.”

The USDA data shows there are more than 8,200 farmers markets in operation all across the U.S., so it’s no wonder there’s now an app to help us sort through them all! We surely need it…and some tomatoes, of course. They’re just coming into season.

 Image: Barbara L. Hanson  


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