People's Garden Planned Next to USDA Farmers Market

Stacy April 15, 2009

In March, USDA Secretary Vilsack announced the People’s Garden Initiative, and broke ground on what will be a certified organic vegetable garden at the USDA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The garden will be directly adjacent to the USDA Farmers Market, which is on Wednesdays, one block from the National Mall. In an inaugural meeting of the USDA People’s Garden Partnership Forum, Sec. Vilsack said that the garden is in keeping with his vision of USDA as leader in sustainability– “sustainable farms, sustainable diets, and sustainable rural economies.”

State Farmers Market Association Survey Highlights


Earlier this year, FMC surveyed 26 state farmers market associations (FMAs) to better understand how they are structured, what they do, how they do it, and what they need to do it better. This was the first opportunity FMC had to formally survey this group, building upon a 2006 study conducted by Project for Public Spaces, and the results were telling. According to the survey, while FMAs are growing in number and emerging as valuable service providers across the country, they infrequently engage in networking and professional development opportunities that would enable them to effectively support their thousands of member markets and producers.

Letting Customers’ Fingers Do The Walking: On-line Farmers Market Directories


Think of them as national online yellow pages for local food and farmers markets. The USDA National Directory of Farmers Markets and LocalHarvest.Org are the two biggest national directories of farmers markets and direct sales small farms. Now is the time to make sure your market information is listed and up to date on both…

FMC Pilots Educational Sponsorships in Three States


As part of its goal to support the efforts of state farmers market organizations, FMC recently offered small sponsorships to three of its members holding statewide training events. Pending future available funding, FMC plans to continue and expand its support of such educational trainings in 2009. What follows is a brief summary of the events receiving mini-grants so far this year.

New Outreach Tools to Be Available for Farmers Market Week


The Farmers Market Coalition is proud to announce that it will be offering a variety of consumer outreach materials to farmers markets this summer, just in time for National Farmers Market Week (August 2nd-8th).

Incentives and Investments Give New Nevada Market a Head Start


Last March, Marrone was asked by the Carson City Office of Business Development (OBD) to help them get a farmers market up and running by the end of June. The time frame, it goes without saying, was one of the biggest challenges in starting the market. “All the research said we should have started six months to a year earlier. We had fewer than three months, and there was already a 13 year old, highly profitable market in Reno. There are only so many farmers to go around, and they were spreading themselves pretty thin as it was. Convincing them to come to our market without any kind of track record was a hard sell.”

Filling the Food Safety GAPs for Small Farms


By Wendy Wasserman Spinach. Peanuts. Tomatoes. Lettuce. Pistachios. In the past few years, there has been mounting consumer and producer discussion about food borne illness. Some of the high profile cases of wide-spread food borne illness have been traced back to incomplete food safety protocols occurring at large producers and commodity processors. Regardless of the…

Letter from the board: Anticipating a New Farmers Market Season


In these days when we’re all pre-occupied with “the market,” there’s a real feeling of being grounded when we think about the ‘place’ (both physical and emotional) our farmers market occupies. Our visits are always so much more than transactions – they are about re-connecting our lives through food – food from the people where we live, our place. In a day of standardized products and depersonalized relationships, isn’t it deeply satisfying to see the natural diversity in the shapes and sizes of fresh produce? To have the conversation be as important as the actual purchase, and to once again visit with neighbors and acquaintances, most of whom have also stayed pretty close to home over the winter months?

Health, Hospitals, and Farmers Markets: Preston Maring Interview

Stacy April 8, 2009

Preston Maring, the doctor behind the initiative to host farmers markets at  Kaiser Permanente hospitals, speaks about the connection between health, healthy eating habits, and farmers markets.  Watch the five minute interview at:

Letter from FMC Concerning Food Safety

Stacy April 3, 2009

What follows is a reprint of a letter sent to FMC members on March 12 Dear Fellow Farmers Market Advocate, In the last few days, there has been much discussion and speculation surrounding H.R. 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, which was proposed by Representative Rosa DeLauro and 39 other co-sponsors and currently…