Farmers markets full of tables packed with fresh vegetables have exploded during the last decade, according to a new report released this weekend.
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report Saturday showing a dramatic increase in the number of markets in the city and state.
The report, issued to coincide with the United States Department of Agriculture's National Farmers Market Week, which ended Saturday, reveals that the number of markets in New York sharply increased, from 235 in 2000 to 521 in August 2012.
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The city hosts 138 of those markets, dotting the city in all five boroughs, from Union Square to Inwood to Bensonhurst.
"There are no signs of a slowdown," DiNapoli said.
Many of the booths at farmers markets belong to local farmers, helping the local farm economy, according to the report.
And making shopping more convenient are updates like more markets accepting food stamps.
"Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best, and farmers markets and green markets are a simple, beneficial way to connect our neighborhoods with fresh, healthy and locally grown food," said New York state senator Liz Krueger, who represents Manhattan.
Markets benefit local farmers
In a boost to local businesses, most who benefit from growing farmers markets are local farmers, according to the report. About 20 percent of New York farms were involved with these types of direct-to-consumer sales in 2009, DiNapoli’s report found, and out of 262 farmers working at GrowNYC, Just Food and Harvest Home markets, 197 were located in the state.
Where are they?
New York City has about a quarter of the markets in the state — 138 of the 521 markets in New York state. Here’s how it breaks down among the boroughs:
48 markets in Brooklyn
39 markets in Manhattan
32 markets in the Bronx
17 markets in Queens
2 markets in Staten Island