Americans are increasingly seeking out the flavors of fresh foods grown on local farms, rather than those trucked to supermarkets from faraway lands.
As a result, hundreds of farmers‘ markets are springing up all around the United States. The number of such markets reached 4,692 in 2006, up 50 percent from five years earlier.
The rise of farmers‘ markets results from a dramatic shift in American tastes. It‘s a movement that is gradually reshaping the business of growing and supplying food to Americans.
The local food movement has already accomplished something that almost no one would have thought possible a few short years ago: a revival of small farms. After declining for more than a century, the number of small farms has increased 20 percent in the past six years.
The impact of "locavores" (as local-food proponents are sometimes known) is even being felt in the government. The latest version of the Farm Bill sets aside $2.3 billion for specialty crops, such as the eggplants, strawberries, or salad greens that are grown by small, mostly organic farmers. That‘s an increase from just $100 million in the previous Farm Bill.