Farmers Markets are a unique part of American culture and especially so in Florida.  With Americans now more health conscious and shifting to healthier eating, farmers markets are even more important to our communities and our economy.  According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, over 150 farmers markets operate in Florida.  The department offers a comprehensive list here.  Markets are not required to register with the department, so there are even more markets available, than what is shown on the list.

In the U.S. there is actually a National Farmer’s Market Week to celebrate the contributions and benefits farmer’s markets provide.  Some of the benefits touted at this year’s celebration in August were that markets offer a place to connect with neighbors, meet local farmers, support local small businesses, and provide nutritious food to neighborhoods in need.

Here are a few more interesting facts.

60% of farmer’s market shoppers in low-income areas say the markets offer better prices than grocers.

25% of vendors at the markets derive their sole source of income from the farmer’s market.

Locally owned retailers, such as farmer’s markets, return three times as much as their sales to the local economy.

Proximity to farmer’s markets is associated with lower body mass index.

Here’s something fun for weekend. Steal a recipe from Fresh from Florida Chef Justin and head to your local farmer’s market for the ingredients.  Let us know what you cook!