New Mexico sees growth in farmers’ markets

Markets are in full swing; National Farmers’ Market Week is Aug. 4-10

(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) – When you look at a digital map of farmers’ markets across New Mexico, one thing stands out: there are so many markets that trying to count them on a computer screen is a bit dizzying.

Seventy-five markets are operational across the state; seven of them opened between last season and this one.  Two decades ago, you were lucky to live near one of the approximately 20 markets that existed in the state at that time.

“We’ve seen incredible growth over the years,” said Denise Miller, executive director of the New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association (NMFMA), which serves as a centralized resource center for markets across the state.  “That growth isn’t just in the number of markets but also in the variety of fresh produce and other items you can find at any given market.”

The list of fresh items you’ll find at the market this time of year is extensive: chile, corn, apples, kale, grapes, and tomatoes…eggs, honey, meat and goat cheese, to name a few.  And precisely because the time is ripe for the picking, the week of Aug. 4-10 has been declared National Farmers Market Week in New Mexico and across the country.

“If you’re never been to your local farmers’ market, now’s the time to go,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte.  “Go for the fresh, local food – stay for the rich conversations you’ll have with the people who actually produced it.”

Another factor feeding into the growth of New Mexico farmers’ markets is the increasing convenience of buying items from them.  Several markets have begun to accept credit and debit cards, while most markets now accept benefits related to programs such as the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program and the Senior Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

For more information – including the address, day(s), and hours of the market(s) near you – please visit the NMFMA’s website at www.farmersmarketsnm.org.

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