The number of farmers’ markets has grown dramatically in the US over the past few years. The number increased by seven percent from 2005-2006 on top of the incredible 79 percent increase from 1994 to 2002. People love the festive atmosphere, the ability to meet the people who grow their food and the connection to the earth this experience provides, and the quality and freshness of the produce. Many patrons value local farmers’ markets as a means of lessening their impact on the earth by allowing them to eat more locally.
Yet in some places, farmers are abandoning the markets. They cite a number of reasons, including: