National Farmers Market Week (August 6 to 12, 2017) is an annual celebration sponsored by the USDA that highlights the important role farmers markets play in our nation’s food system. There are a million (at least!) reasons to love your farmers market, especially in the beautiful state of Maryland. From the Eastern Shore to the Western mountains, Maryland boasts a diverse agricultural landscape, allowing its residents to earn a living working the ocean and land and to fill their plates with a bounty of beautiful seasonal seafood, produce, dairy, meat, and more. To get you geared up for this special celebratory week, we’ve rounded our top five reasons to love Maryland Farmers Markets.
1. The oldest market in Maryland – the Bethesda Farm Women’s Market – was established in 1932.
2. To date, there are 147 farmers markets in Maryland.
3. During the summer months, an open Maryland farmers market can be found on every day of the week.
5. Maryland was the first state in the entire country where a farmers market implemented a matching program for shoppers using SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) and other federal nutrition benefit programs. In 2010, Crossroads Farmers Market started its Fresh Checks program; that model has been replicated in hundreds of markets nationwide!
The MDFMA team wishes we could visit every farmers market in Maryland during National Farmers Market week and personally thank every farmer, manager, and shopper for their part in making farmers markets such a vibrant and vital part of our food landscape. However, the (small) size of our team forces us to be realistic in our planning.
This year, we are hosting a celebration at the Riverdale Park Farmers Market on August 10th, 3pm to 7pm. If you are in the area, join us for a market tour, tastes of the season, face painting, ‘I 💚 Farmers Market’ temporary tattoos, a raffle drawing, and more! Additional info (and RSVP) here. Wherever you spend the first week of August, we hope you celebrate at a farmers market near you!
Farmers, market managers, and shoppers, we love seeing your market pictures! Share and be shared with hashtag #lovemdmarkets and we can repost our favorites.
See you at markets soon!
-The MDFMA team