According to The Washington Post, the number of operating farmers markets increased 16 percent from 2009 to 2010, continuing a 15-year trend in the increase in farmers markets across the country. There are currently 6,132 markets in the country, up from 1,775 in 1994.

The biggest increase over the past year happened in the Midwest. Missouri jumped 77 percent; Minnesota jumped 61 percent, Idaho and Michigan jumped 60 percent each.

"Seeing such continued strong growth in the number of U.S. farmers markets indicates that regional food systems can provide great economic, social and health benefits to communities across the country," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. "Farmers markets provide fresh, local products to communities across the country while offering economic opportunities for producers of all sizes.
It’s National Farmers Market Week, and with so many markets now in the country, there is bound to be one near you to check out this week. Local Harvest is an informative website that will help you find one, so go support a local farmer and bring home the freshest food around. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Number of farmers markets jumps 16 percent
In the past year, the greatest increase in farmers markets has been in the Midwest.