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December 29, 2013

Farm briefs: Dec. 29, 2013

Winter farmers markets increase in state

ALBANY — The locations of 116 winter farmers markets, the total at an all-time high in New York State, can now be found on the state’s open data website at Open.ny.gov.

This comprehensive data transparency website will help provide New Yorkers with a user-friendly way to search for farmers markets near their homes this winter season.

“With more than 100 winter farmers markets across the state, New Yorkers and visitors can buy local and support our farmers all year-round,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Not only do these markets provide an opportunity for our farmers to sell their products, they also increase access to healthy fresh food in underserved communities.”

The number of winter farmers markets in New York State has grown 190 percent since 2007.

While consumers will have more selection at farmers markets during the growing season, winter farmers markets offer a variety of choices this holiday season including potatoes, onions, cabbages, winter greens (kale and chard), wreaths and Christmas trees. In addition, the vast majority of butternut squash is sold between mid-November and late December. Winter markets benefit farmers as they provide them a year-round forum to bring their products to market. 

Acting State Agriculture Commissioner James Bays said that this winter dozens of farmers markets will provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to support local agriculture and also the local economy. 

“I encourage all New Yorkers to check out the Open Data website and visit a winter farmers market near you this holiday season,” he said. 

In March, the governor launched Open.ny.gov to provide user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities and the federal government. The website features economic development, health, recreation and public-services information.

The winter farmers market dataset includes information detailing the hours of operation and location of community farmers markets as well as the name and phone number of the market manager.

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