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Farmers’ markets have steadily been on the rise in the last few decades. In 1994, fewer than 2,000 farmers’ markets were registered within the USDA Farmers’ Market Directory. That number has risen to over 8,600. With an increased national awareness of sustainability and organic practices, farmers’ markets are gaining ground as shoppers turn to products from local sources. At the Manning Farmers Market, you will be able to find a variety of fresh, organic produce at more affordable prices than in a traditional supermarket. There are also many farmers that carry products that are not technically "organic," but have many low-priced foods that are pesticide and herbicide free. The advantage at a farmer’s market is that you can actually talk to the farmer, learn about their methods, and then decide for yourself. In some cases, they may even allow you to come and visit their farm. Being able to get up close and personal with your produce is what farmers markets are all about. As in past years, local vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown produce as well as baked goods. The beginning of each month is expected to be busier, as well as holiday weekends, as locals come out to enjoy the local offerings. By shopping at the local farmers market, you will eat seasonally fresh foods. This is a great way to increase your overall health. The farmers market does accept SNAP. Increase access to fresh, nutritious food. Several studies have found lower prices for conventional and organic produce at farmers markets than at supermarkets. According to research done by the Farmers Market Coalition, due to this and other factors, 52% more SNAP households shop at farmers markets and from direct marketing farmers today than in 2011. It is not too late to become a vendor. Please call Manning City Hall for more information or stop by. (803)435-8477