Camillus (WSYR-TV) -- There’s been a major growth spurt in farmers markets across the country.
In 1994, there were just 1,700 listed in the U.S. Now, 18 years later, there are almost 8,000.
In just the past year, farmers markets have seen a 9.6 percent increase. The biggest hikes were in the mid-Atlantic states and the Southeast.
The USDA has worked to make farmers markets accessible to more people by outfitting some with equipment that accepts payments from government-subsidized food programs.
When Leanne Morphet needs fresh fruits and vegetables she makes it a priority to buy from her neighborhood farmers.
“I buy local just because I know where it comes from,” she said.
Every Friday, you’ll find vendors stocked up at the Camillus Farmers Market outside the town office with locally grown produce and homemade goodies for sale.
Farmers across the country are working to keep up with demand as more markets sprout up.
Right now, there are about 650 markets in New York State – second only to California, which is the country’s top agricultural state.
And as long as customers keep feeding their families with local food, farmers markets will keep growing.
There’s an easy way to find local farmers markets, too. You can search by your zip code on the USDA website
and they’ll give you the markets closest to you.