FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, AUG. 6, 2007
||Ron Moore, assistant director
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
Celebrate North Carolina’s bountiful harvest
during National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 5-11
RALEIGH – North Carolina’s farmers markets are hitting the peak of growing season just in time for National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 5-11. Shoppers should find plenty of fresh North Carolina fruits and vegetables in season at the markets.
The week is designed to bring attention to the growing number of farmers markets cropping up across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are more than 4,500 farmers markets throughout the nation, up from 2,800 in 2000.
In North Carolina, 103 farmers markets are listed on the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ NCFarmFresh.com Web site, including 98 community farmers markets and five state-operated facilities. That number has grown modestly, up from about 90 markets five years ago, said Ross Williams, assistant director of the NCDA&CS Marketing Division.
“Community farmers markets are unique shopping venues because they typically reflect the flavor and specialties of a region, and they are vibrant and lively centers for commerce,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Neighbors meet weekly during the growing season to buy and sell products, and in some areas the markets attract out-of-town visitors looking for local favorites. Money from those sales stays in the communities and fuels the local economy.”
Some markets, like the state-operated Western N.C. Farmers Market, routinely make the list of the state’s top tourist attractions, drawing visitors looking for unique North Carolina flavors and products.
Shoppers looking for information on their local markets or farmers selling commodities can go to www.ncfarmfresh.com and search for listings by county.