Farmers Markets Gain Popularity

One way to see the increase in productions is to look at the local farmer markets. The Ottumwa Farmers Market  in Iowa has seen a great increase in vendors and customers over the last few years according to the Ottumwa Courier.
The 2007 Census of Agriculture backs this idea up. It reported that there was a great increase in fruit and vegetable production in Iowa from 2002 to 2007. The numbers show the harvesting for vegetable sales increased from 752 to 881.
“Historically, fruit and vegetable production isn’t up that much. But what we are seeing are more growers involved and more dollars,” State Horiculturist Mike Bevins said.
Bevins blames the trend and increased vendors on the fact that instead of purchasing farms that cover a lot of farms, there is an increase in small, family farms. He also notes that farmers make more money selling directly to the consumer instead of through a middleman like contractors or processors.
Farmers are the only ones changing, consumers are becoming more health conscious.
“People are more interested in the quality and the health of the food they’re eating,” said Ed McDowell, president of the Ottumwa Farmers Market Association. “They want them as fresh as they can get them.”
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