Are you familiar with the farmers markets, CSAs, and food hubs near you? Do you know what products are for sale and what forms of payment are accepted? Can you find these places while on vacation?
If you answered “yes” to all these questions, the following is not for you. But it’s likely that most of you answered “no” to at least one of these questions. To that end, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a new section on its website that allows users to search a national directory of farmers markets, CSAs, and food hubs so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
Check it out for yourselves online by visiting USDALocalFoodDirectories.com. There, you can search by location, available products, accepted payments, and location type – which, in other words, is whether the location is a church, a closed street, a parking lot, etc.
Arthur Neal is the Deputy Administrator for the USDA’s Transportation and Marketing Program.
“On August the 2nd through 9th, we’ll be celebrating National Farmers Market Week. So put those directories to use and support your local farmers market, support your local farmer, and buy local food.”
There are some apps out there that use the USDA’s data, but the new search tool on the USDA’s website is fast, more comprehensive, and user friendly. There are more than 8,200 farmers markets in the United States – enough that you really do need a way to sift through them all.
This website – USDALocalFoodDirectories.com – is quite literally putting the farmers markets on the map.
Photo, posted October 8, 2011, courtesy of Flickr.