From Staff Reports
CUMBERLAND — The 2013 Maryland Farmers’ Market listings of locations and hours for each of the state’s markets is now available through the Maryland Department of Agriculture website and on Maryland’s Best website.
Cumberland’s markets will open in May and Frostburg’s in June.
To view the 2013 Farmers Market Directory online, find http://mda.maryland.gov/maryland_products/Pages/farmers_market_dir.aspx
A searchable database of farmers market locations, hours, and producer/vendor and product listings is available at www.marylandsbest.net.
Farmers markets have be-come increasingly popular as interest in purchasing fresh, local food and connecting directly with farmers who grow the food has risen. In 1991, there were only 20 markets in the state; there were 88 in 2008; 128 last year; and there will be 131 this year. In its 2009 Policy Choices Survey, the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy found that 77 percent of Marylanders want to buy produce that is identified as having been grown by a Maryland farmer.
About 400 Maryland farmers will also participate in the farmers market nutrition program initiative, which provides an additional source of income to farmers. More than $400,000 in checks will be available through the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s local WIC offices and the Maryland Department of Aging’s local senior centers to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, cut herbs and honey (for seniors only) at authorized farmers markets from June through November.
The program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.