More Farmer’s Markets Are Good

NPR is thinking about local commerce … and the lead example is the growth of farmer’s markets.  According to the article, there are now more than 6,000 farmer’s markets … a 250 percent increase since 1994.  I must admit that while I realized that there has been a growth, the amount of growth hasn’t really struck home.

But our own family trajectory reflects this growth. When we lived in Chicago (1983-1993), we never shopped at a farmer’s market. When we lived in Bolivia (1993-1995), local markets are the way that all but the very wealthy shopped – and there were mercados for bread, and another for vegetables, and another for meat. Our return to Chicago for another year and a half didn’t bring any farmer’s market visits that I can recall. Our cross-country move to Southern California dropped us back into the farmer’s market world — and boy did I ever enjoy the access to local citrus. Then another move took us to a small town between Boston and Provide.  Farmer’s markets weren’t a big part of our daily life there either.

Upon our return to Northern Virginia in 2002, we eagerly embraced the farmer’s markets. Having grown up here, we knew that there were multiple farmer’s markets — and we have joyfully explored several of them. Our favorites have changed over the year, but we now live with the luxury of year round markets and several storefronts that feature locally produced food. What a wonderful set of choices we now have!

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