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It's Open Season . . . For Farmers' Markets!

It's Open Season . . . For Farmers' Markets!
Massachusetts starts season with 16 new markets - nearly doubling the 126 of 2006.

Farmers' markets are making a sizzling come-back across America. And nowhere is the sizzle louder than in the Northeast.

In Massachusetts alone, 88 new farmers' markets have been started since 2006, swelling the total to 214 statewide, reports Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner Scott Soares. "The growing number of farmers' markets throughout the state is greatly enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts in so many ways," he says. "Bay State farmers' markets not only provide greater access to wholesome, locally grown food, they offer a colorful meeting place for folks to connect with their neighbors and the local farmers who grow their food."

Shoppers will find freshly harvested and locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers, and a variety of other local farm products such as maple, honey, eggs, meats, farmstead cheeses, baked goods, and jams and jellies. They're all sold directly by farmers.

To help consumers find a nearby market, the DAR recently launched the new MassGrown & Fresher website. It lists a wide array of agricultural destinations, including farmers' markets operating in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. It features a new Agri-Google mapping feature, making it easy to find farms, farmers' markets, agricultural fairs and more.

To check it out, visit http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/farmers_markets.htm. A printed copy of the listing is also available by calling the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources at 617-626-1700.

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