From the Associated Press:
As demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables has increased, so too has the number of urban farmers markets sprouting up across the nation.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] will announce Friday that the number of direct-sales markets has increased 9.6 percent in the past year, with California and New York leading the way. ...
After 18 years of steady increases, the number of farmers markets across the country now registered with the USDA is 7,864. In 1994, there were 1,744.
Using data from the USDA, we graphed what the growth in farmers markets has looked like since 1994.
The gray line is the percentage increase, pegged to the right vertical axis. Normally, you'd expect this to drop quickly as the total number of markets increases -- it's easier to grow 50 percent from 10 stores (requiring only five new ones) than it is from 1,000 stores (500 new ones). That the sector is still seeing double-digit percentage increases each year is remarkable.