Excerpts of an editorial published in the New York Times

Published: August 16, 2011

It is sweet corn and ripe tomato season, a time for freshly picked garlic, luminous carrots, crisp cucumbers and zucchini.  For many Americans — especially those who live in inner cities — the delights of the season are still often out of reach. But things are improving even in places where farmers’ markets have been scarce. The Department of Agriculture just released its 2011 farmers’ market directory (you’ll find Kennett Farmer’s Market listed!!) and the numbers are striking: 7,175 markets across the country, an increase of 17 percent since last year.

It’s easy to assume that the most important products at farmers’ markets are the ones stacked on crowded tables. But just as important is the direct dialogue between farmer and consumer.  Farmers get a precise picture of just who is shopping and what they’re shopping for. And consumers get an education, if they so desire, in the realities of producing and marketing such beautiful vegetables, fruits, meats and eggs. In a way, farmers’ markets are agriculture at its best, keeping it fresh and close to home.