Visiting the farmer’s market means you’re going to leave with a bag full of fresh goods and a smile on your face. Farmer’s markets across America give people a public forum to shop from various local vendors, making connections with farmers and their neighbors. Most importantly, these markets give consumers access to produce, fruits, flowers, baked goods, meat, eggs, dairy products, and handmade crafts.

Support local business in your area by heading to your nearest farmer’s market. Check out the best markets throughout the United States:

Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market

The City of Brattleboro, Vermont, is not only home to New Chapter, but also home to the Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market. The market has two locations; a smaller, downtown market is on Tuesday afternoons, and the other is off Route 9 near the covered bridge on Saturday mornings. It was rated Southern Vermont’s premier farmers’ market in 2017 by Yankee Magazine.

At Brattleboro Area Farmers’ Market, you can find fresh vegetables and produce from Circle Mountain Farm and Akaogi Farm, beautiful flowers from High Meadows Farm, Olallie Daylily Gardens and Old Schoolhouse Plantery, and yummy foods from Sawyer’s Artisanal Cheese, Taco Barn, Tavernier Chocolates, and Whetstone CiderWorks. You can also shop handmade crafts including jewelry, body care products, bird houses, and pottery.

Charlotte Regional Farmers Market

Owned and operated by the State of North Carolina, the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market offers Queen City residents a place to shop for produce, grass-fed beef, handmade jellies and jams, fresh flowers, and baked goods, Tuesday through Sunday. The market is conveniently located near Charlotte Douglas International Airport off Yorkmont Road.

If you live in North Carolina, or if you’re just passing through, you can try visiting the other three regional markets operated by the State of North Carolina:

  • Western North Carolina (WNC) Farmers Market near downtown Asheville, N.C.
  • Raleigh Farmers Market in Raleigh, N.C. (also features three restaurants)
  • Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax, N.C., west of Greensboro, N.C.

Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets

Seattle is famous for Starbucks, the Space Needle, and Pike Place, but the city provides residents and visitors with a lot more, including the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance. It provides the region’s small farmers with an area to sell local produce and advocates for low-income benefit programs to ensure equal food access.

The Alliance has farmer’s markets strategically placed in various neighborhoods across the city that are accessible to almost everyone. Locations include:

  • U-District (year round)
  • Capitol Hill Broadway (year round)
  • West Seattle (year round)
  • Columbia City (seasonal)
  • Lake City (seasonal)
  • Phinney (seasonal)
  • Magnolia (seasonal)

Barton Creek Farmers Market

Located in the Lone Star’s Capital, Barton Creek Farmers Market was Austin’s first farmers market, established in 1987. It offers organic, sustainably-grown Texas produce and grass fed, Texas-bred meats on Saturday, all year long. It can be found behind the Barton Creek Square Mall near the intersection of S Capital of Texas Hwy and MoPac Expressway.

The market features original music performances, local artisans, prepared foods, and everything else you’d find at a farmers market. Vendors, such as Red Oak Bakery, Solstice Farm, Rocky Hill and Top of Texas, Smith and Smith, and Svantes Ranch, provide consumers with some of the best ingredients, meats, and vegetables the areas has to offer.

Barton Creek Farmers Market has been voted top 5 farmers markets in the nation, has been ranked in the top 10 markets by Audubon Society, and has been endorsed by Wolfgang Puck.

Arkansas Local Food Network

A different approach to a traditional farmer’s market, Arkansas Local Food Network is a membership-based market that offers online ordering to Little Rock residents, all from the comfort of their home. Membership is affordable and online orders are available each week, from Sunday at Noon to Wednesday at Noon. Once you order your goods, you pick them up downtown at Christ episcopal Church on Saturday (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.) or Monday (5 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

The online market sells teas, dry goods, fresh fruit, meats, vegetables, flowers, and handmade crafts - like your typical market. Vendors include USDA Certified Organic Armstead Mtn. Farm, Little Rock Urban Farming, Laughing Stock Farm, Rattle’s Garden, and Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative.

Reasons to shop at a farmers market:

  1. Fresh, whole-food produce (instead of frozen, processed produce) offers peak flavor and nutrition.
  2. In-season fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients.
  3. You’ll support local, family farmers and strengthen your community.
  4. Many markets accept SNAP and WIC benefits.
  5. Shopping local reduces large-scale distribution pollution (meaning you’re helping the environment).
  6. You can gain insight into your food and get tips, tricks, or recipes to better your cooking.

No matter where you live, you’re more than likely only a short drive away from a farmer’s market. If you need help finding a market in your city or town, explore the USDA’s local food directory by clicking here.