Celebrating National Farmers Market Week in South Florida

Farmers markets like this new one in Homestead are cropping up like purslane (a weed we like!)

If you search our 33137 Zip Code in the USDA’s farmers market directory, you will be pleased to find South Florida’s farmers markets within 5 miles of our restaurant well-represented, from the Roots in the City Farmers Market to the Upper East Side Green Market at 79th Street and Biscayne Boulevard (which is currently open!)  As reported by Obamafoodorama and USA Today, United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proclaimed August 7-13 National Farmers Market Week, coinciding with the release of this newly updated resource.

“The continued expansion of the local food movement in South Florida is exciting,”  says Sharon Yeago, President of the Farmers Market Coalition. “South Florida is a shining example of how it a local food system can be created for the benefit of all.”

Since 2000, the number of farmers markets in the United States has grown 150%, from 2,863 markets in 2000 to 7,175 in 2011. As demand grows for fresh local food, farmers markets are fostering appreciation for agriculture even in the most urban of neighborhoods, and putting farmers in the center of the food system and allowing independently owned family businesses to thrive.

“Since the summer of 2010, five new producer only farmers markets have started in Miami, all accepting SNAP benefits and most running programs to increase the value of benefits redeemed at these markets- allowing low-income consumers twice the buying power when purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables,” explains Art Friedrich, Urban Oasis Project’s Market Manager.  “In just eight months at the Liberty City Farmers Market and the Upper Eastside Farmers Markets, over $1500 dollars have already been distributed and over $2500 in SNAP benefits redeemed.”

Yes, farmers markets do exist in Miami in the summer.

Michael and students from Phillis Wheatley Elementary at Overtown's Roots in the City Farmers Market this past season. Roots has been dealing with the City of Miami on its permitting issues and will hopefully be back up and running in the fall.

“It’s been an uphill battle to get to where we are today, but I’m extremely proud of our community and what we have accomplished together with the help of Wholesome Wave Foundation,” reflects Michael, co-founder of Roots in the City Farmers Market, South Florida’s first local producer-only market accepting benefits and doubling their value.  “You can really feel the energy in the city swelling.  It’s unstoppable now.  I’m happy to continue to lend my influence to the movement and the growing number of markets.”

More information on what other markets around the country are doing and the issues at play is available below, courtesy of Farmers Market Coalition.

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