"Does the existence of a farmers' market over a time create demand for
Yes. As the community discovers a market over time, new producers are
encouraged by the longevity and apparent security of the market and the
cash flow opportunity it offers. Success breeds success.
Peggy also asked:
"Do *new* producers come into the market to meet that demand? Do those
producers create a demand for more suppliers to serve small farms and
market gardeners? I guess the real question is, can the encouragement of
farmers' markets be considered a rural development strategy?"
The answer to all of these questions is an absolute and emphatic
"Yes." I have worked and consulted with numerous new farmers' markets
and new market gardeners. There is a definite tie-in with rural
development. Indeed, the survival of many small farms and many "town
squares" relies on the community support of it's local farmers' market.
In the research for my recent book "Dynamic Farmers' Marketing: A
Guide to Successfully Selling Your Farmers' Market Products," I talked
with dozens of small farmers, market gardeners, and community officials
in both the US and Canada. Those who have adopted the strategy of
letting the farmers themselves organize and operate the market have
found tremendous support from the community and most have been
profitable - even in their first year of operation.
The US has seen an "explosion" of new farmers' markets since 1994.
Public farmers' markets went from 1700 to 2400 in just a two year
period. It seems that every town with a population over 5,000 wants a
farmers' market now. All I can say is "Praise the Lord! What an
opportunity for small farmers everywhere!"
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