Maryland’s Best offers an updated listing of farmers markets.
Finding your closest farmers market is easier than ever.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture released on Friday its updated map and database of the state’s 131 farmers markets. The Maryland’s Best website now includes extensive, searchable information on market locations, hours, producers, vendors and product listings. A paper version of the 2013 Maryland Farmers’ Market Directory will also available in mid-May from MDA’s Marketing Division in Annapolis.
“The best sign that spring is really here is the opening of Farmer’s Market and they begin opening this weekend,” Secretary of Agriculture Buddy Hance said in a statement. “Customers can enjoy some of the freshest and best tasting local products at Farmers Markets while directly supporting our family farmers. Every dollar spent on local agricultural products contributes to the economic health of the community, keeps our land in farming, and helps to support a smart, green and growing future for Maryland agriculture.”
The department pointed to significant recent growth in the popularity of farmers markets. It stated, “In 1991, there were only 20 markets; there were 88 in 2008; 128 last year; and there will be 131 this year. In its 2009 Policy Choices Survey, the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy found that 77 percent of Marylanders want to buy produce that is identified as having been grown by a Maryland farmer.”
About 400 Maryland farmers are also benefitting from a grant program which allows eligible women, infants, children and seniors to use more than $400,000 in prepaid checks at Maryland farmers markets, according to the department.