Saturday, April 9, 2011

Density Map of Farmers Markets

In 2009, there were 5,240 farmers’ markets spread across 3,141 counties, parishes, and boroughs in the U.S. About a third of U.S. counties had no farmers’ markets. Across the Nation, large urban counties had the highest numbers of farmers’ markets, while less-populated rural counties had the fewest. The number of farmers’ markets per population tended to be highest in rural counties, after accounting for population differences between counties. Densities greater than 7.6 farmers’ markets per 100,000 residents were more common for rural counties than for urban counties, indicating that many rural counties had greater per capita availability of farmers’ markets than urban counties.

source: usda


  1. It seems to me that many of these areas with the highest per capita farmer's markets are actually VERY sparsely populated. Look at those counties in northern Calif, Nevada and se Oregon where there are no large towns. The denominator of the per capita ratio is probably the more important data point in many cases.

  2. Why do certain states have a majority of counties with no farmer's markets? Texas, Georgia and South Dakota for example. Are there cultural or regulatory issues in these areas?

  3. Actually Georgia is one of the most forward thinking states. I was priveleged to live nearby when the new Atlanta State farmers market opened in the late 1950s on 150 dedicated acres, a replacement for the original one founded in 1939.
    This had covered lighted docks where a farmer could back his truck up one side and either unload to display or just sell out of truck. Any Georgia farmer got free use for 24 hours and could stay longer for a small fee, although most would sell out in the mornings. None of this nonsense of setting up and taking down rain and shade protection daily.

    Georgia, which had the first state Department of Agriculture, has a long history of populist farmers starting with Tom Watson and the wool-hat boys. Eugene Talmadge and Thomas Mercer Linder(1887-1978) were especially notable. The State now operates 12 farmers markets.