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Farmers markets blossom in Northern New Mexico

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Posted: Monday, May 5, 2014 3:29 pm | Updated: 12:49 pm, Fri May 16, 2014.

With its reputation as one of the top 10 farmers’ markets in the country, the Santa Fe Farmers Market in the Railyard attracts thousands of shoppers and tourists Saturday and Tuesday mornings during the peak season. But the past few decades have seen a blossoming of farmers markets throughout the region for those wishing to avoid crowds and check out markets offering an excellent range of produce — often at lower prices. Visiting them is a journey of exploration and discovery, both culinary and cultural.

In the mid-1960s, the League of Women Voters Agricultural Project established the Los Alamos Farmers Market. The Santa Fe Farmers Market followed in 1968, opening in a church parking lot. Smaller, outlying farmers’ markets began to be established in the 1980s, many with the assistance of the newly formed New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association. Now there are some 60 farmers’ markets in the state, with a few new ones opening every year, minus a few that fail to take root. New Mexico echoes the national trend. In the 1960s, nationally there were only a handful of farmers markets. By 1994, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture first began counting, there were 1,744. As of 2013, there were 8,144.

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Today’s New Mexican, July 22, 2014

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