Farmers Markets: by the numbers
If yours has not already opened, it will soon, and we have some numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
There were 6,132 farmers markets in 2010 -- a 16 percent increae from 2009.
The average vegetable gardener can purchase 10 times the amount of food at a farmers market they he can grow himself.
By 2012, the USDA predicts, the number of consumers who will demand locally grown food will reach 7 billion.
But the most telling statistic might be that in 2005 -- and it is certainly higher today -- 25 percent of the vendors at farmers markets said the markets were their sole source of income.
It is fun and healthy and a good thing to grow your own food. But remember the farmers who count on us to put food on their tables.
Here is the directory of farmers market in Maryland for this season. Or you can call 410-841-5770.