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What Is a Farmers Market?

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Image of Vail Farmers Market Tents

Vail Farmers Market

Photo Used With Permission from the Vail Farmers Market

Definition: A farmers market (a.k.a. greenmarket) is a place where farmers sell their products directly to consumers. Ultra-fresh produce, pastured meat and eggs, artisan cheeses, hand-harvested honey, and other fresh, small-batch foodstuffs are the hallmark (and benchmark) of the best farmers markets. They serve not just as a place for farmers to get the best price and consumers to get the best products, but as venues for producers and consumers of food to come together, forge relationships, and exchange information.

Some farmers markets will post that they are certified or verified. This means the market has rules about who can sell and what can be sold at the market. Such rules usually run along the lines of farmers being able to sell only their own produce and vendors of cooked food or crafts as having had to make their products by hand.

Note: Some "farmers markets" have vendors that sell produce they bought from wholesalers and then re-sell to consumers. Are there bananas at your farmers market in Minnesota? Be suspicious. That produce is the same that is available in supermarkets, so then why go to the trouble of going to a farmers market?

Get tips on shopping at farmers markets here.

Also Known As: Greenmarkets

Alternate Spellings: farmer's markets, farmers' markets

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