4 Fantastic Farmers Markets Across The United States

A great way to incorporate healthy, nutrient-dense foods into everyday meals is to purchase them directly from local growers. Not only does shopping this way support the well-being of the community and its food system, but it can also prove to be educational and nourishing for both the body and the soul. Here, listed in no particular order, are some popular outdoor community markets to check out.

Beginning the list at #1 is the Sarasota Farmers Market. Founded in 1979 by Paul Thorpe and the Downtown Merchants Association, its original mission was to bring foot traffic to the downtown Sarasota, Florida area. In 2009, the vendors formed a not-for-profit organization to further enhance the Market with a focus on local farms and growers, and increased support for community education.

A wide demographic of local attendees and visitors enjoys the ambiance of this event on a weekly basis. Musical entertainment can be found at both the north and south ends of the Market, and for those looking to enjoy a meal on the premises, tables and chairs are supplied for customers to use while eating breakfast or lunch alfresco.

Founded in 2002 in Missouri, the award-winning Ferguson Farmers Market is #2 on our list. This Saturday morning tradition offers fresh fruits and vegetables that have been picked within 24 hours by the very farmers who sell them. Visitors are encouraged to connect with local businesses and choose sustainably produced meats, dairy products, baked goods, and more.

Here, guests can enjoy musical entertainment and special events in a festive family atmosphere. A vast variety of edible delights are available, including homemade jelly, farm fresh eggs, cheese, honey, spices, organic meats, and more. Attendees will also find an ever-changing array of gift and specialty vendors, selling everything from fresh cut flowers and plants, to hand-painted artwork and small-batch soaps.

#3 is the Dallas Farmers Market, which has been serving its community since 1941. Once a humble horse-and-wagon wholesale business, it has grown with the city and turned into a hub for farm-fresh vegetables, dairy, and other items. Located in the heart of Downtown, this organization's mission is to cultivate a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle for all of North Texas.

Shopping at the Dallas Farmers Market is a family-friendly activity for people of all ages. The Shed is the open-air pavilion where visitors and locals can shop from regional vendors who cultivate crops. Here, customers will find seasonal produce grown in the Texas climate, naturally raised meats, cheese, eggs, and honey. Artisan breads, specialty foods, and hand-made arts and crafts are offered at The Shed throughout the year, as well.

Lastly, at #4, the Fondy Farmers Market connects Greater Milwaukee to fresh, local, and healthy food. This outdoor event creates space for the community and welcomes shoppers of all ages, organization representatives, artists, and performers to interact with one another. More than 40 farmers and local food producers sell at this location from May through November. Tens of thousands of shoppers visit the Market each year, primarily drawing from Milwaukee's North Side, as well as from across the region.

There is an air of celebration at the Market that is fostered by music, food, and festive entertainment. Visitors will see a diverse mix of customers and farmers, as well as an intersection of culinary traditions and community. For example, the weekly Seasonal Soul Cooking Demonstration features neighborhood chefs who prepare family recipes using seasonal ingredients found onsite.