National Farmers Market Week is Aug. 3-9.

We're celebrating farmers coming together to share a harvest that's feeding local families. Farmers markets bolster local economies, improve community health, and bring diverse groups of people together.

"Farmers markets are an important public face for agriculture and a critical part of our nation's food system," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "They provide benefits not only to the farmers looking for important income opportunities, but also help fill a growing consumer demand for fresh, healthy foods."

Each year, an increasing number of Americans in diverse communities get more of their food from farmers markets. From 1994-2012, the number of farmers markets in the U.S. increased more than 300 percent! These markets preserve America's rural livelihoods and farmland, stimulate local economies, increase access to fresh and nutritious food, and support healthy communities.

Farmers markets benefit:

  • Producers -- small- and medium-sized producers can achieve reliable income, obtain better prices than other distribution channels and develop/test new product lines.

  • Consumers -- give consumers access to locally produced, farm-fresh food, and the opportunity to develop relationships with farmers, as well as directly contributing to local farm viability.


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  • The community -- farmers markets contribute toward robust local economies and neighborhoods, and provide more accessible healthy and fresh food options.

    The Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association will celebrate throughout the entire month of August with the second annual "Love My Market" photo contest.

    To participate, snap a photo of what you love about your local farmers market -- whether it's the unusual produce, your favorite farmer, being with your family or anything else farmers market-related.

    Submit the photo to lovemymarket@pcfma.com or post the photo on Instagram with the hashtag #lovemyPCFMAmarket between Aug. 1-31. Please limit one entry per person. See official rules at www.pcfma.com/lovemymarket. Also include the name of your farmers market in your caption or email.

    Tell everyone to "Meet at the Farmers Market!"

    National Farmers Market Week is the perfect time to visit and say thank you to all the hardworking farmers who bring you the very best in California produce, meats, eggs, poultry, flowers, honey, wine and other fantastic products.

    See you at your local farmers market!

    Farmers markets are open rain or shine.

  • Danville Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays year-round, Railroad and Prospect avenues.

  • San Ramon Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays year-round, Bishop Ranch 2 parking lot, Bollinger Canyon Road and Sunset Drive.

  • Dublin Farmers Market: 4-8 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 25, at Emerald Glen Community Park, at Tassajara Road and Central Parkway.

  • Livermore Farmers Markets: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays year-round, at Railroad Avenue and L Street (Historic Train Depot); and from 4-8 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 16, at Carnegie Park at Third and J streets.

  • Pleasanton Farmers Market: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays year-round, at Main and W. Angela streets.

    Visit www.pcfma.com or call 800-949-FARM (800-949-3276).

    The Time is Ripe is a monthly column written by Debra Morris, promotions coordinator for the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association. Contact her at debramorris@pcfma.com.