A trip to the farmer’s market is a weekly must for a growing number of Iowans who love fresh produce. There are now about 130 farmer’s markets statewide in 75 counties, the most ever, according to the state Department of Agriculture. A spokesman says farmer’s markets are succeeding.Mike Bevins is a state horticulturist who is helping promote this as “National Farmer’s Market Week.” Besides enjoying the taste of just-picked fruits and veggies, Bevins says many people go to farmer’s markets for another reason. He says it allows a connection back to the farm and to the land.Bevins says crop diversification is one of the fastest-growing segments of Iowa agriculture and farmer’s markets are the ideal outlet to market and sell directly to the consumer.The “Farm Fresh 2000 Directory” details all farmer’s markets in Iowa, along with all strawberry producers, honey producers, fruit and vegetable growers — as well as evergreen tree growers and organics. The directory lists some 633 different growers across Iowa. Order a free guidebook at 800-383-7658. The information is also on the Internet at: “www.state.ia.us/agriculture”.
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