Local winter farmers’ markets offer year-round options

WASHINGTON – The weather is cooler and tomato season is long gone, but that does not mean farmers’ markets pack-up for the winter months.

The number of winter farmers’ markets is increasing nationally and both Virginia and Maryland rank in the top ten states for winter markets.

According to the USDA, the number of winter farmers’ markets listed in USDA’s National Farmers’ Market Directory has increased by 52 percent, from 1,225 in 2011 to 1,864 in 2012.

Currently, Virginia has 53 winter farmers’ markets, while Maryland has 70.

Winter markets now account for roughly 24 percent of the 7,865 farmers’ markets listed in the USDA national directory.

Winter markets allow for local farmers to generate income year-round while offering customers fresh products, like jams, jellies, honey, milk, eggs, cheese and meat products.

Year-round markets also offer plants. Some even sell Christmas trees.

WTOP’s Kathy Stewart contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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