Farmers market tradition continues to grow

Aug. 3, 2015, 2:15 a.m. ·

Farmers markets have enjoyed renewed growth over the last 20 years across the U.S. (Photo courtesy Flickr/Charles Roffey)

Listen To This Story

From juicy peaches to bunches of kale, nothing says summer like a trip to the farmers market. This is National Farmers Market week, and shoppers will celebrate from Macomb, Illinois to Lincoln, Nebraska with bags of sweet corn and tomatoes.

Farmers markets have been a summertime staple for decades, but it would be fair to say the U.S. is experiencing a farmers market renaissance.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture began a regular survey in 1994 in order to track the number of farmers markets across the country. It found 1,755 markets in 1994. By 2014 the number of farmers markets had risen to 8,284.

It’s a sign of a growing interest in fresh and locally produced food. Farmers markets have also become an important source of fresh fruits and vegetables for low income Americans. Over 5,000 farmers markets accepted SNAP benefits, formerly food stamps, in 2014 collecting a total of $18.8 million.

Weekend farmers markets are popular events in Lincoln and Omaha, but you can find markets from Valentine to McCook. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture put together a handy tool to find a market near you.