- What is a farmers market?
- What will I find at a farmers market?
- How do farmers markets determine what to carry?
- Are farmers markets only open in the summer?
- How can I find a farmers market near me?
- Do farmers markets only take cash?
- Who operates farmers markets?
- Is produce from the farmers market better?
- Why should I shop at a farmers market when my supermarket sells organic, and sometimes even local food?
- Are prices for food the same at farmers markets as in grocery stores?
- When I shop at a farmers market, where does my money go?
- How does shopping at a farmers market help my local economy?
- What happens to food left over at farmers markets?
- How do farmers markets preserve farmland?
- I love my farmers market. What can I do to support it?
- Sources and Other Resources
- Farmers Markets and Direct-to-Consumer Marketing
- USDA Farmers Market
- Local Food Directories
- Infographic: Farmers’ Market Statistics
- Portland Farmers’ Market
- Union Square Greenmarket
- Pike Place Market
- Santa Fe Farmers’ Market
- Charleston Farmers’ Market
- Davis Farmers’ Market
- Green City Market
- Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market
- Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
- Eastern Market
- St. Paul Farmers’ Market
- Sweet Auburn Curb Market
- Dane County Farmers’ Market
- Crescent City Farmers’ Market
- Burlington Farmers’ Market
- The 11 Best Farmers Markets In The World
- 1. Union Square Greenmarket, New York, NY
- 2. Azadpur Wholesale Market, Delhi, India
- 3. Klong Toey Fresh Market, Bangkok, Thailand
- 4. Kaupattori Market, Helsinki, Finland
- 5. La Boqueria Market, Barcelona, Spain
- 6. Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao, Bogotá, Colombia
- 7. Kashgar Sunday Market, China
- 8. Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco, California
- 9. Marché Bastille, Paris, France
- 10. Rialto Market, Venice, Italy
- 11. Borough Market, London, United Kingdom
- What Makes a Great Market?
- A Sense of Place
- Fair Food for All
- The Top 30 US Media Markets
- The Best Farmers Markets in America Belong to These 5 Cities
- 5. Richmond, VA
- 4. Tucson, AZ
- 3. El Paso, TX
- 2. Madison, WI
- 1. Washington D.C.
- Elizabethtown – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Hunt For The Worst Movie Of All Time: Elizabethtown (Redux)
- I keep using the word “lie” to describe a detail in a fictional movie, which doesn’t seem QUITE right since in theory everything in a fictional movie is some sort of lie. But what I am getting at is the deep un-truth of Elizabethtown, its inherent disconnect from the world in which actual human beings live and love and experience genuine emotions. So, for lack of a more precise term: lie.
What is a farmers market?
A farmers market is a public and recurring assembly of farmers or their representatives selling the food that they produced directly to consumers. Farmers markets facilitate personal connections and bonds of mutual benefits between farmers, shoppers, and communities. By cutting out middlemen, farmers receive more our food dollars and shoppers receive the freshest and most flavorful food in their area and local economies prosper. Each farmers market defines the term “local” according to the agriculture of its region and regularly communicates that definition to the public. Farmers markets also implement guidelines and operating rules that ensure the farmers market consists principally of farms selling directly to the public products that the farms have produced. In order to protect both farmers and consumers, some states have even established their own formal definitions which specify market characteristics in more detail. The number of farmers markets in the United States has grown rapidly in recent years, from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 markets currently registered in the USDA Farmers Market Directory.
What will I find at a farmers market?
It depends. Farmers markets vary in size and always reflect a region’s agriculture and seasons. Some markets are seasonal and comprised of a small number of vendors, while others involve hundreds of vendors and take place year-round. It is a source of pride to farmers and market shoppers alike that the products available at farmers market represent the agricultural of a region or state. Depending on the time of the year, you might find avocados, olives, steak or artichokes in Texas or California, and be more likely to find paw paws, peanuts, pork, and peonies in Virginia.
Some markets concentrate on produce, while others carry everything from fruits and vegetables to baked goods, meat, eggs, flowers, and dairy products. Some may carry locally made crafts or prepared foods as a complement to the agricultural products they sell. As the number of markets grows, so does the variety of foods available.
How do farmers markets determine what to carry?
What is at market depends on a combination of location, season, and market rules about what can be sold. Many farmers markets only carry locally-grown, locally-made and/or locally-processed, foods, and create a system of guidelines that ensure vendors are producing what they are selling. Farmers markets are unique insofar as they give shoppers transparency while also protecting local farmers from having to compete with lost-cost, low-quality, often imported meat and produce. The great thing about farmers markets is that if you are ever unsure about what a product is, where it came from, or how it was grown, you can just ask! Some direct-marketing farms even offer tours.
Are farmers markets only open in the summer?
Peak harvest season is usually peak market season, and some markets are only open in the spring, summer, and early autumn. In 2010, roughly 15% of all farmers markets were open in the winter months. Nevertheless, year-round farmers market thrive in many states. Many markets are expanding their seasons or transitioning to year-round operation by offering their shoppers items including meat, eggs, dairy, bread and other products that are available fresh throughout the year. Even in colder climates, farmers are implementing a variety of season-extending techniques that can protect crops from frosts and allow them to be picked and sold fresh for more weeks of the year. You can learn more about what is seasonally available in your community here.
How can I find a farmers market near me?
Farmers markets are in every state and located in all kinds of places– from Main Streets to city centers, from parks to parking lots, from sidewalks to shopping centers. To find a market near you, ask your neighbors, friends, Google, and colleagues, or search for one in USDA’s Farmers Market Directory, or at LocalHarvest.org and EatWellGuide.org. A large number of states have a state farmers market association that can also provide you with information. You can find a listing of the statewide farmers market associations that are also FMC members by clicking here.
If you live in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, California, Kentucky, New York, Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania, or Massachusetts you are lucky enough to be in a state with the most farmers markets in the country.
Do farmers markets only take cash?
There are many ways to pay at farmers markets. Cash usually works best but many farmers markets also accept credit and debit cards. Moreover, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has partnered with FMC to provide eligible farmers markets and direct marketing farmers with the equipment necessary to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. In the past five years, the number of farmers markets and direct marketing farmers authorized to accept SNAP has grown rapidly and the amount of SNAP dollars spent at farmers markets has almost tripled.
In addition, more than 3,390 markets accept Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers and 4,590 markets participate in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). In 2015, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service reported that over $38 million was spent at farmers markets through these two programs alone. Some markets have even developed their own locally based currencies, like HealthBucks in New York and Fresh Bucks in Rhode Island.
Who operates farmers markets?
Some cities are home to regional market networks, such as Greenmarket in New York City, the Sustainable Food Center in Austin, Texas, FreshFarm Markets in Washington, DC, and Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance in Seattle. Many markets operate independently, or with the help of city or nonprofit partners, sometimes transitioning to a stand-alone nonprofit as they grow. No matter how farmers markets organize, there is always a market manager who enforces the market bylaws and oversees the daily business of the market. The market manager is generally the best point of contact for any questions.
Is produce from the farmers market better?
More than 85% of farmers market vendors traveled fewer than 50 miles to sell at a farmers markets. In fact, more than half of farmers traveled less than 10 miles to their market, according to the USDA. Some farmers markets require that all of their produce come from a specified mileage limit. For example, all farm products sold at the Morgantown Farmers Market in West Virginia are grown within 50 miles. Compare that to most supermarkets where seven to fourteen days can go by between the time produce is picked and when it becomes available to shoppers. In that time, fruits and vegetables travel, on average, more than 1,200 miles before reaching grocery store shelves. Locally grown produce sold at the farmers market is made available at the peak of freshness and nutrient content. Moreover, when farmers can select plants and animal breeds for superior flavor and quality without having to worry about about shelf life or long-distance shipping, quality and taste improves. You can also find food at the farmers market that most grocery stores don’t stock such as farm-fresh eggs, lamb, duck, or heirloom tomatoes.
Why should I shop at a farmers market when my supermarket sells organic, and sometimes even local food?
While some grocery stores do carry a small number of local and organic products, most cannot equal farmers markets in the variety and quality of local foods, let alone guarantee farmers a fair price. In 2017, American farmers receive only 17.4 cents of every dollar American’s spent on food. At farmers markets, farmers head hope with upwards of 90 cents on the dollar. Shopping at a farmers market is also a wholly unique experience where farmers and shoppers get to know each other, do business, and help each other. Meeting friends and neighbors at the farmers market while shopping and supporting local businesses is just fun. When was the last time you told your friends to meet you in Isle
Are prices for food the same at farmers markets as in grocery stores?
Farmers market vendors are local entrepreneurs who, like other retailers, set prices that allow them to reasonably cover their costs. Prices vary by product, but a number of studies (including one’s from Seattle, NOFA-VT, and Leopold Center) found that similar produce are typically less expensive at farmers markets than at nearby grocery stores. A recent Economic Research Service report showed that less healthy foods tend to have a low price per calorie, increasing the difficulty of adding fresh fruits and vegetables into American diets. However, a price study conducted by students at Seattle University showed that most vegetables sold at the farmers market had lower if not comparable prices to their grocery store. Further, in 74% of the communities examined in Anthony Flaccavento’s price comparison study of Appalachia and the Southeast, produce was less expensive at farmers markets compared to supermarkets, on average by 22%. One cost advantage that farmers markets offer is the ability to buy fresh food in bulk at the height of the season and preserve or freeze for later use when the product would otherwise be more expensive, hard to find, or of lower quality.
When I shop at a farmers market, where does my money go?
At a farmers market, you hand your money to the person who grew or made the products in front of you. According to the USDA, more than 150,000 farmers, ranchers, and agricultural entrepreneurs are selling quality products directly to consumers. These direct sales at farmers markets exceeded $1.5 billion nationwide in 2015. A series of case studies by Civic Economics shows that for every dollar we spend at a large chain, about 15 cents stays in the area, while locally owned enterprises like farms trap 30 to 45 cents. Boise, Idaho’s Capital City Public Market generated an estimated $4.5 million in economic activity for the local economy in 2011 and in Iowa, thanks to the efforts of the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, sales of local food by farmers in northeast Iowa rose from less than $10,000 in 2006 to over $2 million by 2010. The majority of the money spent at markets, and the jobs that come with it, stay in the communities where the markets are located. The 52 producers of the Williamsburg Farmers Market in Virginia generated an estimated $48,969.84 in state sales tax in 2011, supporting the state economy. 32 percent of Crescent City Farmers Market shoppers in New Orleans report spending money at nearby businesses, resulting in $3.2 million in projected gross receipts and an annual contribution of $151,621 to local sales tax revenue.
How does shopping at a farmers market help my local economy?
Farmers markets generate business, and business creates jobs. A 2011 Economic Research Service report found that fruit and vegetable farms selling into local and regional markets employ 13 full-time workers per $1 million in revenue earned. Comparatively, fruit and vegetable farms that are not selling locally employed only three full-time workers per $1 million in revenue.
Farmers markets also bring business to neighboring stores and communities where the market is located. Spending money at farmers markets keeps your money in circulation within the local community, preserving and creating local jobs. A 2010 study of the Easton Farmers Market in Pennsylvania, for example, found that 70% of farmers market customers are also shopping at downtown businesses, spending up to an extra $26,000 each week. This is very different from many major grocery stores where a large percentage of sales leave the community, and possibly even the state or the region. A Virginia Cooperative Extension report showed if households in Southern Virginia spent 15 percent of their weekly food budget on locally grown food products, $90 million in new farm income would be created for the region.
How has the current economic crisis impacted farmers markets?
Despite the recession, farmers markets are booming. The Food Marketing Institute found that local and sustainable foods were a top buying trend for in each of the last 8 years. Economist Ken Meter of Crossroads Resource Center notes that, as a business model, farmers markets are inherently flexible, which offers them protection from drastic economic changes. “They can adjust price and adjust their product to get consumers’ needs met. Retailers and big stores with big overheads and big expenses can’t do that.”
What happens to food left over at farmers markets?
Most vendors have a good sense of how much will sell on any given market day, and prepare for it accordingly. However, if there are leftovers at the end of market, vendors are ready to recycle unsold produce into value-added products. For instance, excess tomatoes become tomato sauce and apples become apple cider. Unsaleable produce can be composted to return nutrients back to the farmers’ fields. In addition, many markets also have donation arrangements with local food banks, soup kitchens, and other social service agencies. Farmers at seven farmers markets making up the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance in Seattle donated 44,000 pounds of fresh, local, quality produce to food banks in 2011. Through a partnership with a local health food store, farmers at the Webb City Farmers Market in Missouri donated enough fresh produce to serve 4,000 vegetarian and vegan meals to tornado relief volunteers working in the heat after the Joplin tornado last May. These are just a few examples of the ways farmers give back to the communities that host their markets.
How do farmers markets preserve farmland?
As the number of markets grow around the country, so do the number of farmers. For instance, Alabama had 17 registered farmers markets in 1999, involving 234 farmers. Fewer than ten years later (2008), there were 102 farmers markets involving 1,064 farmers in the same state. This means that with the help of farmers markets, hundreds of farmers choose to stay in agriculture over another profession, thereby helping to preserve Alabama’s farmland and rural traditions. Further, farmers markets allow young farmers to network and learn from more experienced farmers. The Webb City Farmers Market runs a mentoring program that partners their most experienced growers as well as state extension horticulturists with younger farmers who want to improve quality and production practices. “Last week our inspection team visited three farms and saw, for the first time, drip irrigation in action on those farms”, says Eileen Nichols, Market Manager. “Before starting the mentoring program, they either had no water in the fields or were trying to use small sprinklers.”
Seven Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance (NFMA) markets in Seattle support 9,491 acres of farmland in diversified production, stewarding natural resources rather than selling out to industrial residential development. “This represents a four-fold increase in the last ten years,” says NFMA Executive Director Chris Curtis. Even smaller markets nationwide champion acreage in the hundreds, such as Georgia’s Lilburn Farmers Market, which supports 10 farms stewarding 500 acres of farmland.
Chicago’s Green City Market, established in 1999, required that all of its 2012 vendors possess one of eight third-party certifications. Nearly half of the 44 farmers chose the USDA Organic Certification, ensuring clarity for consumers regarding chemical usage and contributing to the long-term health of farmland. Believed to be the first of its kind to require such production-practice certification, the Green City Market serves as a model for new markets and farmers alike.
I love my farmers market. What can I do to support it?
Purchasing as much as you can from your community’s farmers market is the simplest way to demonstrate your support. Some markets have “friends of…” programs where you can contribute directly to the market’s operation and support its educational programs. Others may be recruiting neighborhood volunteers or providers of in-kind design, writing, or bookkeeping services. Just ask the market manager how you can help best. You can also support the Farmers Market Coalition’s national efforts to strengthen farmers markets (through education, leadership development, National Farmers Market Week, and other technical assistance programs) by making a secure on-line donation.
These FAQs were developed in collaboration with USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
Sources and Other Resources
Claro, Jake. January 2011. Vermont Farmers’ Markets and Grocery Stores: A Price Comparison. Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont. http://nofavt.org/pricestudy
Diamond, A. and R. Soto. 2009. Facts on Direct-to-Consumer Food Marketing Incorporating Data from the 2007 Census of Agriculture. USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
Farmers’ Markets Today. 2008. Farmers’ market statistics: March 2008 survey results. Available at http://www.farmersmarketstoday.com
Flaccavento, Anthony. November 2011. Is Local Food Affordable for Ordinary Folks?: A comparison of Farmers Markets and Supermarkets in Nineteen Communities in the Southeast. SCALE, Inc. http://www.ruralscale.com/resources/farmers-market-study.
Food Routes Network. 2003. Plant Your Dollars Close to Home and Watch Your Community Grow. Available at http://www.foodroutes.org/whycare3.jsp.
Food Marketing Institute.Grocery Shopper Trends 2009: Recession Changing Consumers Shopping Behavior at the Supermarket. Press Release, May 14, 2009.
Herman, Dena R. et al. January 2008. Effect of a Targeted Subsidy on Intake of Fruits and Vegetables Among Low-income Women in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. American Journal of Public Health (Vol 98, No 1).
Hughes, D.W., C. Brown, S. Miller , and T. McConnell. April 2008. Evaluating the Economic Impact of Farmers’ Markets Using an Opportunity Cost Framework. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. 2010. Electronic Benefits at Three Farmers Markets in Minneapolis: An Analysis of the 2010 Pilot Program. Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support.
Jilcott SB, Wade S, McGuirt JT. April 2011. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. The association between the food environment and weight status among eastern North Carolina youth. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21486525.
Otto, D. and T. Varner. 2005 Consumers, Vendors, and the Economic Importance of Iowa Farmers Markets: An Economic Impact Survey Analysis. Ames, IA: Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University.
Seattle University. February 2012. Pricing Data Collected by Seattle University Statistics Students. http://images.bimedia.net/documents/2012FebruaryUniversityDistrictprices(SU).pdf.
USDA. 2008. Number of farmers markets continues to rise in U.S. AMS No. 173-08, Washington, DC: AMS.
USDA. 2008. 2006 Farmers Market Survey: Highlights at the National Farmers Market Summit. Baltimore, MD, November 2007.
Woolf, Art. 2011. Small Potatoes? Vermont Tiger. http://www.vermonttiger.com/content/2011/05/small-potatoes.html
Farmers Markets and Direct-to-Consumer Marketing
Farmers markets are an integral part of the urban/farm linkage and have continued to rise in popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. Farmers markets allow consumers to have access to locally grown, farm fresh produce, enables farmers the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with their customers, and cultivate consumer loyalty with the farmers who grows the produce.
Direct marketing of farm products through farmers markets continues to be an important sales outlet for agricultural producers nationwide. As of National Farmers Market Week (pdf), (the first full week in August), there were 8,771 farmers markets listed in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory. This is a 6 percent increase since 2014.
USDA Farmers Market
Now in its 24th year, USDA’s farmers market is a living demonstration of USDA’s dedication to supporting local and regional food systems and increasing consumer access to fresh, healthy foods in our community.
Local Food Directories
USDA’s Local Food Directories help you locate farmers markets, on-farm markets, Community Supported Agriculture, and food hubs. The directories are managed and operated by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), a USDA agency with the core mission of facilitating the fair and efficient marketing of U.S. agricultural products.
- National Count of Farmers Market Directory Listings Graph: 1994-2019 (pdf)
- Geographic Coordinates Spreadsheet for U.S. Farmers Markets (xls)
- Farmers Market Directory API
- Farmers Market Directory data
- Search all publications and presentations
- National Study of Commercial Farming in Urban Areas (Summary) September 2019
- Lessons learned from public investment in local and regional meat and poultry processing activities
- Potential Demand for Local Fresh Produce by Mobile Markets
- A Practitioner’s Guide to Conducting an Economic Impact Assessment of Regional Food Hubs using IMPLAN: A Systematic Approach
- Guide to Farmers Markets on Military Installations
- Farmers Market Manager Survey Summary Report 2014 (pdf)
- Mapping Competition Zones for Vendors and Customers in U.S. Farmers Markets (pdf)
- Results of Dot Survey: USDA Outdoor Farmers Market, Washington, DC (pdf)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at Farmers Markets: A How-To Handbook (A joint publication by: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Project for Public Spaces, Inc.) (pdf)
- Connecting Local Farmers with USDA Farmers Market Nutrition Program Participants (pdf)
- 2016 Farmers Market Promotion Program Highlights (pdf)
- 2016 Farmers Market Promotion Program Report (pdf)
- Why Local Food Matters: The Rising Importance of Locally Grown Food in the U.S. Food System (pdf)
- Assessing the Economic Impact of Regional Food Hubs: The Case of Regional Access Presentation (pdf)
- Assessing the Economic Impact of Regional Food Hubs: The Case of Regional Access Report (pdf)
- Emerging Marketing and Business Strategies (pdf)
- WIC Farmers Market
- SFMNP: Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
Infographic: Farmers’ Market Statistics
With summer in full bloom, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of berries fresh from the farm. Thankfully, with the number of farmers’ markets increasing across the US, getting farm fresh produce is easier than ever.
Infographics: Farmers Market © CreditDonkey
Why Farmers’ Markets?
While the number of available farmers’ markets is on the rise, many consumers don’t know what the hype is all about. Here are some of the benefits that farmers’ market customers have reported:
- Environmentally Friendly—With transportation being one of the top CO2 contributors, many people are consciously buying local to help reduce their carbon footprint. The farmers who participate in markets tend to be local, driving very short distances compared to the trucks that transport produce and other foods to grocery markets.
- Shopping List Friendly—Often, consumers think that offerings at farmers’ markets are limited to a handful of summer fruits and vegetables. But these days, there is a whole lot more variety to the goods sold at farmers’ markets. Walking through the vendors, you’ll not only find the expected fruits and vegetables, but also dairy, nuts, meat, baked goods, and even non-food items. This cuts down on the number of stops you have to make during your regular shopping trip.
- Budget Friendly—Who doesn’t want to save on their groceries? Farmers’ market customers say they shop at the markets to find a good price without having to compromise on quality.
- Family Friendly—Farmers’ markets are a fun shopping experience for kids. They get fresh air and have the opportunity to interact with the people who have grown their food. And because some markets deal solely with cash, it’s an opportunity to help teach your child important math skills.
Farmers Market Alternatives
While cash was once king, nowadays many consumers deal only with plastic. Some farmers’ markets do accept credit cards or food stamps for payment, but many still run solely on cash. Thankfully, grocery stores have taken note of this growing trend, beefing up their produce, dairy, meat, and bakery departments, with a real focus on local and fresh merchandise. These farmers’-market–focused grocery stores are popping up in neighborhoods across the country, offering healthy merchandise as well as the convenience of credit cards with cash back on groceries.
Another option is to buy directly from the farm. Many farms and produce stands have updated their accepted forms of payment in recent years to help accommodate the credit card consumer. Larger operations tend to have websites, making it easy to locate and contact the produce farms in your area. It’s recommended that you make a quick call before hopping in the car to verify that they’ll accept credit as a form of payment.
And if you’re looking for ultimate freshness and convenience, you can also research available CSA (community-supported agriculture) opportunities in your area. With a CSA, you purchase a share of a farm’s production and in exchange receive a box of produce or other farm-grown items on a regular basis (often weekly or biweekly). The subscription is charged to your provided credit card and often the food is delivered directly to your neighborhood or even your doorstep. This provides you the farmers’ market goods without having to worry about crowds at the market or having to make an ATM run for cash. CSAs also help local farmers by providing financial security. Just keep in mind that because your farm goods are literally farm fresh, what you receive will be dependent upon what’s ripe and ready to harvest, so if you have a specific dish in mind, you may still need to stop by the store.
Finding the Option Best for You
Whether you’re looking for the authentic farmers’ market experience, or simply looking to provide healthy meals for your family that are environmentally and wallet friendly, there are several options that are now available to the American shopper. Finding the options that are best for you may be as simple as spending a couple of minutes online. If an internet search isn’t producing the results you’re looking for, don’t forget to visit the USDA National Farmers Market Directory, which not only lists markets by zip code but also includes information regarding the accepted forms of payment at the market.
(Research by Kelly; Writing by Meghan)
(c) Littleny | Dreamstime.com
Farmers markets used to be frequented only by chefs stocking up on fresh ingredients, or locals looking for their weekly produce supply. All that has changed, however, because travelers now flock to these markets to sample the best a region has to offer, including fruits, vegetables, and herbs as well as locally made treats and pastries. From a Portland farmersmarket that features fresh cuts of free-range bison and yak, to a small New England market with samples of sweet Vermont maple syrup, travelers will delight in these markets’ fresh, seasonal offerings.
by Emily Wasserman
Portland Farmers’ Market by Mack Male Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
Portland Farmers’ Market
Held every Saturday on Portland State University’s campus, Portland Farmers’ Market brings together more than 150 of the region’s best farmers and producers to offer fresh, homemade wares. Visitors can find everything from French and Italian chestnuts, to cuts of free-range bison, yak, and boar. Show up early on Saturday for a taste of Enchanted Sun’s New Mexico breakfast burritos, or grab an organic crepe as you browse the stands. In peak season, the market features produce like plump organic raspberries and crisp Asian greens, and local chefs stop by to stock up on colorful fruit and vegetables.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Portland Guide
(c) Littleny | Dreamstime.com
Union Square Greenmarket
In the midst of New York’s hustle and bustle is Union Square Greenmarket, an outdoor oasis with a diverse selection of products. The market was founded in 1976, and boasts 140 regional farmers, fishermen, and bakers. Shoppers can purchase freshly picked fruits and vegetables, farmstead cheeses, and artisan breads, or choose from a selection of cut flowers, wine, and jam. Don’t miss the market’s live cooking demonstrations by popular local chefs.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s New York City Guide
(c) Asterixvs | Dreamstime.com
Pike Place Market
A giant red “Public Market Center” sign announces Pike Place Market, one of the nation’s most popular produce venues. Located at the end of a cobblestone street, the market features fresh wares from more than 80 Washington farmers. Local Seattle chefs give cooking demonstrations, and visitors can chat with farmers about seasonal products. Vendors offer everything from foraged food like mushrooms and huckleberries, to farm crafts like beeswax candles and lavender body butter.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Seattle Guide
Santa Fe Farmer’s Market by Eugene Kim Attribution-NonCommercial License
Santa Fe Farmers’ Market
As one of the country’s largest farmers’ markets, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market does not disappoint. The year-round market includes more than 150 active vendors, and features hundreds of locally grown products with a distinctly Southwestern flavor. Visitors can find everything from sweet corn and chile Amarillo, to buffalo sausages and mesquite cactus honey. During planting season, stop by the market’s nursery to browse vibrant potted flowers and herbs.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Santa Fe Guide
Charleston Farmers’ Market
Located in the heart of downtown, the Charleston Farmers’ Market attracts a continuous stream of locals and visitors. The market is open every Saturday from April to December, and offers shoppers a taste of fresh, Lowcountry food and produce. Juicy blueberries, grass-fed beef, and flavored local pecans are just a few of the wares you can find at the market, which offers a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and cheese. Visitors can take home a bag of freshly caught shrimp, or choose colorful, cut flowers to adorn their table. Don’t leave the market without sampling a dish from a local vendor. Cool off with artisan ice cream from Scoop Love Ice Cream, or try the shrimp and grits from Tasty Brunch.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Charleston Guide
Davis Farmers Market by Eugene Kim Attribution 2.0 Generic
Davis Farmers’ Market
Among the wealth of California farmers’ markets, the Davis Farmers’ Market stands out as one of the state’s gems. Sprawled across a third of a five-acre park, the market features a growing number of local vendors and a friendly, convivial atmosphere. Visitors can browse stands with certified organic produce and baked goods, or stop by Fat Face on Saturday mornings for breakfast sandwiches and popsicles. On Wednesday nights, the market hosts a Picnic in the Park event with music, farm-fresh food, and family-friendly activities.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Davis Guide
DSC_0042 by Tom Campone Attribution 2.0 Generic
Green City Market
Chicago is known as one of America’s food Meccas, and Green City Market is where the foodies go to shop. Every year between May and October, the market’s 55 stalls tempt visitors with sustainable produce and delicious, locally made food. Shoppers can take home fresh baguettes from a popular North Shore bakery, or stock up on vegetables and herbs from neighboring farms. The market also boasts unusual finds, like luxury organic whiskeys from a local distillery and elk meat from a family-owned Wisconsin ranch. During the winter months, the market moves inside to the nearby Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s South Gallery.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Chicago Guide
Lox Sandwich by Gary Stevens Attribution 2.0 Generic
Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market
Spanning both indoor and outdoor venues, Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market is located on the San Francisco Bay and features a rotating list of vendors and specialties. The market is open three days a week, and each day offers its own theme; visitors can pick up organic produce on Tuesdays, or sample artisanal street fare on Thursdays. Celebrated local chefs and home cooks flock to Ferry Plaza to stock up on produce and specialty ingredients, such as Tahitian pomelos, locally foraged mushrooms, and cactus pears. Try to get there early; with 25,000 shoppers visiting each week, the market tends to get crowded.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s San Francisco Guide
Tomatoes at Santa Monica Farmer’s Market by alohavictoria Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
Head to downtown Santa Monica on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays for the city’s illustrious Farmers’ Market. More than 75 farmers offer fresh, local produce, and each week a local restaurant features it wares at an outdoor stall. L.A. chefs have taken note, and come to the market to stock up on ingredients like Rainier cherries and snow peas. End your market-going experience with a glass of freshly squeezed juice; a popular favorite is the blood orange juice.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Santa Monica Guide
By AgnosticPreachersKid (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons 11.) St. Paul Farmers’ Market, St. Paul, Minnesota: Honeycrisps by Attribution-NonCommercial License
Located in the heart of D.C.’s historic Capitol Hill neighborhood is the Eastern Market, a food and arts venue that attracts both locals and tourists. Visitors step inside South Hall Market to find fresh produce, flowers, and baked goods, or stop by on Saturday or Sunday for the Weekend Farmers’ Line, an open-air venue with fruits and vegetables from local farmers. In addition to grass-fed meats, seafood, produce, and pasta, shoppers can also browse more than 100 stalls with handmade arts, crafts, and jewelry. Special items include African masks and giraffes made out of aluminum cans.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Washington, D.C. Guide
St. Paul Farmers’ Market
Locavores will rejoice at St. Paul Farmers’ Market, as all produce is required to be grown within a 50-mile radius of the market. Only the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables are displayed, and visitors can talk with vendors to learn more about their produce’s origins. Popular spring and summer wares include red rhubarb, green lettuce, fresh flowers, and vegetable seedlings to start your own garden. For those who want a quick snack, don’t miss the fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, bagel sandwiches, and tuna empanadas.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s St. Paul Guide
Sweet Auburn Curb Market
Visitors can escape the Atlanta heat at Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Located on the eastern edge of the city’s downtown area, the market features more than 20 vendors who offer everything from fresh produce, meat, and seafood, to baked goods, like sweet potato cheesecake. Stop by for lunch to sample food from the city’s popular restaurants, including Bell Street Burritos, Sweet Auburn BBQ, and Arepa Mia’s Colombian arepas.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Atlanta Guide
Pooh Bear would be happy here by Cathy Stanley-Erickson Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
Dane County Farmers’ Market
Madison’s Dane County Farmers’ Market boasts the title of the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the U.S., and the market lives up to its reputation. Held outside Wisconsin’s State Capitol on Wednesdays and Saturdays from April to November (and indoors during the winter), the market brings together the best of state’s urban and rural cultures. Visitors can sample the famous Wisconsin cheese curds, or pick up a bottle of red or white wine to pair with dinner. Show up early for a more leisurely shopping experience, as the market tends to get crowded as the day goes on. On your way out, try a slice of Stella’s Hot and Spicy Cheese bread—a sinful blend of red pepper, chives, cheeses, and sweet dough.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Madison Guide
Girod Farmers Market Greens by Infrogmation of New Orleans Attribution 2.0 Generic
Crescent City Farmers’ Market
New Orleans’ Crescent City Farmers’ Market does not disappoint, as foodies and professional chefs head to the downtown market every Saturday morning to stock up on locally grown wares and freshly prepared foods. Products vary by season, with citrus fruits and rutabagas making an appearance in the winter, and seafood like blue crabs and catfish turning up during the summer months. But shoppers can find an impressive selection of local offerings year round, including alligator sausage, Creole cream cheese, Bloody Mary mix, and hand-made chocolates.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s New Orleans Guide
Burlington Farmers Market, City Hall Park, Burlington Vermont by Church Street Marketplace Attribution 2.0 Generic
Burlington Farmers’ Market
For an intimate shopping experience with fresh, local food, look no further than Burlington Farmers’ Market. Held every Saturday from late spring through autumn in the city’s historic downtown area, the small market gives off a quintessential New England vibe. Visitors can pick up samples of granola, bread, and Vermont maple syrup, or satisfy their appetite with samosas or fresh pastries. For those who want a change of pace, artisans and craft vendors offer flower arrangements, paintings, and handmade wares at affordable prices.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Burlington Guide
The 11 Best Farmers Markets In The World
We know, we know: the last thing you care about is another food holiday. But this week isn’t just any old excuse to eat a donut or drink a margarita (or three) at happy hour; August 7th through 13th is National Farmers Market Week. Not like we needed a reason to celebrate our tireless farmers, bakers, fishers, and food purveyors across the country, but we’re all about giving credit where credit is due—especially to the peple who keep our kitchens well-stocked with the best seasonal and local ingredients around.
Sure, you might have your favorite market, but have you ever wondered what it would be like to shop local on the other side of the world? In honor of our farmers and the markets they call home, we pulled together a list of our favorite global farmers marchés and mercados. Warning: They might make you hungry for an impulse trip.
1. Union Square Greenmarket, New York, NY
The largest market in NYC attracts 60,000 visitors each day with a mixture of local shoppers, chefs, and tourists, all vying for a taste of fresh produce and locally made goods.
2. Azadpur Wholesale Market, Delhi, India
The biggest wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Asia spans 46 acres of India’s capital city.
Image by Maggie Tauranac
3. Klong Toey Fresh Market, Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok’s largest fresh market is almost like its own small city tucked away deep inside of Thailand’s capital.
4. Kaupattori Market, Helsinki, Finland
Located in Helsinki’s South Harbor, this outdoor market boasts fresh produce, mushrooms, fish, even smoked reindeer (sorry, Rudolph), along with hot street food and local handcrafts.
5. La Boqueria Market, Barcelona, Spain
This historic indoor market in Barcelona dates all the way back to the 1200s and showcases some of the best Catalan produce.
6. Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao, Bogotá, Colombia
Colombia’s capital city market is bursting with the colors of local fruit, flowers, seafood, and more.
7. Kashgar Sunday Market, China
This thriving yet remote market is hidden behind the Karakorum and Pamir mountains, but it was once the central trading point of the Silk Route and dates back to Roman times.
8. Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco, California
This certified farmers market is teeming with local produce that draws 25,000 locals, visitors, and chefs each week.
9. Marché Bastille, Paris, France
When in Paris, don’t miss out on this bustling market filled with luscious produce, cheeses, mushrooms, and food products. Snack on fresh fruit under the nearby Bastille Monument or feast on your wares at the Place des Vosges park around the corner.
10. Rialto Market, Venice, Italy
This fish and vegetable market in Venice serves its population and the millions of tourists it attracts each year. Hint: Try the sought-after baby artichokes.
11. Borough Market, London, United Kingdom
London’s oldest food market dates back 1,000 years but is still very much a thriving hub of farmers, fishermen, bakers, food producers, and shoppers.
(KCC Farmers’ Market) Launch Gallery 25 Photos
Ranging from tiny seasonal popups to year-round attractions, more than 8,700 farmers’ markets are registered with the USDA’s National Farmers’ Market Directory. With so many farmers’ markets these days, it can be hard to know how to choose where to shop and why it makes a difference.
A farmers’ market is a constantly shifting kaleidoscope of changing colors, aromas and flavors—but all markets aren’t created equal, so this summer we’re spotlighting America’s best 25 farmers’ markets.
What Makes a Great Market?
Good farmers’ markets focus on farmers selling their own sustainably raised produce, eggs, poultry, etc. The market should be mostly, or all, growers, with lots of diversity to choose from. Everything should look enticing, and the people behind the table should be knowledgeable and helpful. Ideally, any prepared foods or crafts also should be made from local ingredients and sold directly by the producer. It is incredibly inspiring to spend a morning or afternoon connecting with people who are passionate about what they do.
A Sense of Place
There’s no better way to get a sense of place than with a visit to a good farmers’ market. You quickly get a sense of the community, climate, season and the foods that define a location. When I see wild blueberries by the 5-pound box at bargain prices, I know I’m in Maine in August.
Fair Food for All
All the markets included here have food justice programs, making it easy for vendors to accept payment from participants in the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (for low-income pregnant women and new moms) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Great farmers’ markets also have education components, including cooking demos and kids’ programs.
Launch the gallery to see our favorite farmers’ markets across the U.S. of A.
The Top 30 US Media Markets
Reading Time: < 1 minute
A lot of people refer to the “Top 30 US Media Markets” but often I get asked: “So what are they?” Some of them are pretty easy like New York and Los Angeles, the others might surprise you. Keep in mind that this list changes – Phoenix, Arizona, for example, was at one time a top 10 market, now it’s dropped to #12. Why is this important? Because publishing houses typically focus on the top 10-30 markets when they are pushing an author to the media. If you’re in one of those markets and having a hard time finding someone to cover your story, that might be why. Consider alternative towns/cities nearby that don’t fall within this list. Good luck!
1) New York
2) Los Angeles
5) Dallas-Ft Worth
6) San Francisco-Oak-San Jose
7) Boston (Manchester)
9) Washington, DC
12) Phoenix (Prescott)
13) Tampa-St Pete (Sarasota)
15) Minneapolis-St Paul
16) Miami- Ft. Lauderdale
19) Orlando-Daytona Beach
21) St Louis
22) Portland, OR
28) San Diego
30) Hartford & New Haven
The Best Farmers Markets in America Belong to These 5 Cities
In many cities, the opening day of seasonal farmers markets marks the start of summer. Streets lined with white tents and folding tables are quickly flooded with early-risers looking to get a jump-start on their weekend. And who can resist the free samples, fresh produce, and bouquets of local blooms. If you’re lucky, your farmers market might allow dogs to come, too!
Listen to this story on your Alexa or Google Home!
Many farmers-market dwellers will claim their city puts on the best event, but which ones are truly worth traveling across state lines? To find the best farmers markets, we started with this recent study of the top cities for farmers markets, conducted by Empire Today. The results are based on a number of factors, including the location’s walkability score, the average weather in April, the number of farmers markets held per 100k people, and the affordability score. They even considered whether a farmers markets accepted credit cards.
Image zoom Image courtesy of Empire Today.
While the study identifies the cities that are the best fit to host a farmers market, it’s not necessarily reflective of the best farmers markets in the United States. So we did our own research to find the best farmers market in each of the top five cities. They’re conveniently placed in all regions of the country, so whether you’re on the west coast, east coast, or somewhere in-between, there’s a weekend trip you can take to visit one of these favorite farmers markets.
Image zoom Image courtesy of South of James Market via Facebook.
5. Richmond, VA
Residents of Richmond have a fair share of farmers markets to choose from almost any day of the week. However, we recommend the South of the James Market, which runs every Saturday, May through October, and includes winter hours as well. With more than 100 vendors, it features a variety of local businesses offering goods outside the expected fruits and veggies. Our first stop would be to Two and a Half Irish-Men bakery, where they have toasted coconut and walnut carrot cake, and even a few gluten-free options.
Image zoom Image courtesy of Heirloom Farmers Market.
4. Tucson, AZ
This city scored high thanks to its farmers market-friendly weather—on average Tuscon sees just 0.3 inches of rain in April. Pair sunshine with an incredible mountain view and you have the perfect Sunday morning at the Heirloom Farmers Market in Rillito Park. It’s the city’s largest year-round market, open every Sunday, and has a permanent space with an entertainment circle, restrooms, and three shaded pavilions in case the Arizona sun gets too hot. Get there in time to catch the Taste of the Market event every weekend, which teaches shoppers about the local produce they’re buying.
Image zoom Image courtesy of the Downtown Arts and Farmers Market.
3. El Paso, TX
Everything is bigger in Texas—and apparently cheaper, too. According to the Empire Today study, the average produce cost in El Paso was one of the lowest of all 100 surveyed cities. The Downtown Art and Farmers Market self-identifies as an artisan market, with just as much focus on the arts and entertainment as there is on the food. Reviewers on Yelp! raved about the variety of available products and amount of vegan options.
Image zoom Image courtesy of the Dane Country Farmers Market.
2. Madison, WI
Madison is putting Midwest farmers markets on the map thanks to its high amount of markets and percentage of those accepting credit cards. The Dane County Farmers Market in the heart of the city is buzzing every Saturday, April through November. While you’re there, be sure to try real Wisconsin cheese curds from the Murphy Farms stand, which is just one of the 275 vendors at the Dane County market.
Image zoom Image courtesy of Eastern Market.
1. Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. has the most farmers markets of any city, with an average of 8.2 per 100,000 people. In the Capitol Hill neighborhood, make a trip to the Eastern Market. This massive event space has several different points of interest, including the South Hall Market, which has fresh produce, meat, pastries, and cheese Tuesday through Sunday. On the weekends, the outdoor open-air venue hosts even more food and craft vendors.
Elizabethtown – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Going to Elizabethtown
Crowe’s new film explores loss from his own life
Cameron Crowe is easy-going and eager to please. And so are his movies. His latest film, “Elizabethtown,” bears a particular resemblance to the writer-director, from the death in the family, the flight attendant and the Kentucky homecoming, through the rental-car-musical-road-trip though the South.
“It’s emotionally autobiographical,” said Crowe, who had previously mined his life as a teenage rock critic for Rolling Stone magazine in “Almost Famous” and as an undercover high school student in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
“The personal stuff for me is the best,” said Crowe during an interview last month. “And this one felt a little raw emotionally. I wanted to capture some stuff, to see if I could get it right. The way it feels to lose a loved one and find a reason to celebrate, oddly enough, as a result of learning who you are.”
“Elizabethtown” stars Orlando Bloom as a failed athletic shoe designer who travels to Kentucky after his father dies to retrieve the body, and encounters a side to the family, his father and himself that he has never known.
“I always thought I’d write about my dad, at some point,” said Crowe, whose late father was from Kentucky. “I didn’t think it would be like this, but it arrived like this. I’d been listening to a lot of Garrison Keillor at the time. I love that simple story that ends on a grace note and you go, ‘Wow, I’m just happy to be alive right now.’ That was the feeling I was chasing.”
Crowe said “the reason to make the movie for me,” was the life-embracing chaos of the character’s homecoming party. “When I went back to Kentucky, that same thing happened to me, and I really wanted to get that scene right,” he said. “There was a party scene in ‘Vanilla Sky’ that I felt like we blew because it didn’t feel like a real gathering. This one, I thought, was an opportunity to tell the truth about what being in the middle of a party would feel like.”
For “Elizabethtown,” Crowe used a hand-held camera and a Robert Altman-like improvisational style. All the cast members have “stuff that they’re talking about and they’re in character,” Crowe said. “I told them, ‘Don’t even think about the camera. It may not even be near you. Just have the party.’ And then there’s somebody in the middle of them shooting film.”
Long time coming
Crowe has made just six films since his 1989 directorial debut “Say Anything . . . “” ‘Almost Famous’ had trouble getting financed,” he said. ” ‘Jerry Maguire,’ oddly enough, wasn’t quite understood by the studio. They had a hard time marketing it so it took a long time to come out.”
And because Ridley Scott “ran a little long” filming “Kingdom of Heaven,” Crowe waited six months for Bloom, best known as the archer in “The Lord of the Rings” films. In the four years between “Elizabethtown” and Crowe’s last film, “Vanilla Sky,” there was “different project that I abandoned. And I almost did the Phil Spector story there for a while.”
“I’ve got to pick up the pace,” Crowe said. One could wonder, however, if whether Crowe’s time management problem isn’t related to the elaborate pop music soundscapes that he crafts for his films. Crowe tries to “marry” music and film “so that neither (is) diminished and both are made more meaningful.” But does “Elizabethtown” have too much music?
“I think we’re right up to the edge,” he said. “I wanted it to be a musical and let some of those songs really play. It’s a great time for music, and nobody is playing it. (Radio) is just mainly playing the same few songs. But if you’re really looking, there’s plenty to be found.”
Same old song
One of the film’s key musical scenes is a road trip through the South taken by Bloom, to the musical accompaniment of a series of mix CDs compiled by Kirsten Dunst, who co-stars as a flight attendant with whom Bloom becomes romantically involved. “I’ve taken that road trip,” said Crowe. Is there anything in the film that isn’t real?
“Yeah, the second-largest farmers market in the world,” featured in the film’s final scene, said Crowe. “And there’s no 60B,” the exit Bloom’s character searches for in vain.
Other than that, the film has the ring of truth. Crowe’s real-life sister was a flight attendant, like Dunst’s character. “Almost Famous” included a flight attendant who was the sister of the main character. Crowe recalls his sister and her flight attendant friends talking about their travels while he was growing up. “They were a community of travelers,” he said. “And, you know, Kirsten’s character is a traveler too, while (Bloom) gets lost crossing the street.”
The self-referential and musical aspects of Crowe’s work — he has creative freedom and final cut — are unique in a Hollywood system that is so formulaic, mechanical and unfeeling that audiences are turning away.
“People always complain that movies are all the same and that ticket buyers are voting and saying, ‘No more,’ ” Crowe said. “And so here is a movie that was made in the system that is unlike most movies made in that system. It’ll be interesting,” he said, “to see what happens.”
Courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Duane Dudek – October 23, 2005
The Hunt For The Worst Movie Of All Time: Elizabethtown (Redux)
After Roger Ebert died, Terry Gross replayed some of their old interviews on Fresh Air. In one of them he talked about how he would rewatch Fellini’s La Dolce Vita every 10 years, and how his perception of the movie evolves with his own life experience:
When I saw it in 1960, there was this 30-year-old journalist in Rome leading this unbelievably glamorous life with all these celebrities and staying up all night and going to orgies and having all of his philosophical friends around him and his wives and his mistresses and miracles and stories to cover.
When I saw it again – and I’ve seen it every 10 years – in 1970, it was somebody about my age, only he was leading a more interesting life than I was, I thought. And when I saw it again in 1980, it was somebody 10 years younger than I was, and he had a lot of problems that I had outgrown.
I thought that was a really beautiful and poignant observation about the way in which our subjective experience and prism of our own lives affects how we relate to art, and it was with that in mind that I decided for this final installment of The Hunt for the Worst Movie of All Time to revisit the reigning champion. Would it be was as bad as I remembered, or perhaps, with the benefit of hard-earned wisdom and the shifting perspective that comes with age, would it be even worse?
It’s fitting that the very first line of Elizabethtown, delivered by Orlando Bloom in voice over, is a line about collosal failure. The actual line is “As somebody once said, there’s a difference between a failure, and a fiasco.” Of course, we never learn who coined this famous quote because no one did. (Lie #1.) It’s also never made clear what the proposed difference is between a failure and a fiasco, so for the sake of argument, let’s just say that Elizabethtown encapsulates both.
In it, Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) is a celerity shoe designer (Lie #2, there is no such thing. We are 30 seconds into the movie at this point) who we learn is responsible for the design of a shoe called SPASMOTICA (!!!!) for a company that is clearly supposed to be Nike but in the world of the movie is called Mercury Worldwide Shoes. Really? Virtually all of the world’s leading brands of athletic shoes have a single, enigmatic name: Nike, Adidas, Asics, Reebok, Puma, Saucony, and the best you could come up with is Mercury Worldwide Shoes? For a movie that wants so badly to be about what life is really like, it sure doesn’t seem to have the first clue. Anyway, everyone thought Spasmotica was going to be the next Air Jordan, which makes sense since they sound equally cool, but for a reason that is never given to us, despite the fact that it is the engine that drives our main character for the next two hours, the shoes have all been recalled. Perhaps the reason we never learn why the shoes get recalled is that shoes don’t get recalled. (Lie #3). As a result, Mercury Worldwide Shoes (LOL) has suffered a net loss of almost one billion dollars, and all of the blame and responsibility, we are told, falls onto the shoulders of Orlando Bloom, despite the fact that he is a mid-level designer who works in a cubicle at a mulit-national corporation full of executives in charge of making decisions. (Lie #4.) We are now just 45 seconds into the movie.
Depressed and despondent, Drew goes home with the intention of killing himself. This is a professional, high-level industrial designer who despite his setback was only recently considered a genius, but the best he can come up with for his own suicide is duct-taping a chef’s knife to the handlebars of his exercise bike.
A knife, incidentally, that he finds in a drawer filled with loose knives.
Have you ever been to a designer’s house? There are no drawers filled with loose knives. Everything is in its perfect, efficient, beautiful place. Two seconds later, the tape holding the knife to the exercise bike, which again, he is going to use to commit suicide, comes loose and the knife falls out. No wonder he lost his job at Mercury Worldwide Shoes! He is terrible at his job! Knife back in place, Drew is ready to bike-stab himself to death when his cell phone rings, which is when we learn that Drew, the forward-thinking wunderkind designer, has a 100-year-old flip phone with a Motown ringtone. Between the bike-knife as a concept, the failed bike knife construction, the loose knife drawer, the phone, and the ringtone, we are looking at Lies #5, #6, #7, #8, and #9. We are five minutes into the movie. I’m going to stop counting now, but I will continue to describe some of the lies as they occur.
Drew’s father, Mitch, has died while on a trip home to visit his family in Kentucky, so Drew puts off his suicide for the weekend while he goes to retrieve his father’s body. That is actually his plan: that he will go to Kentucky, cremate his father, fly back with his ashes, and then get back on the knife-bike. It’s a goal that he reiterates right up until the movie’s final 10 minutes. As such, it’s unclear why someone with such intense and determined suicidal ideation would care in the least about accomplishing goals, however short-term. Perhaps this can only make sense in a world where the most successful athletics company on the planet is called Mercury Worldwide Shoes.
On his flight to Kentucky, which is completely empty, like, completely, a thing that has never occurred in the history of air travel and which, if it did occur, would result in the cancellation of Drew’s flight, he meets a flight attendant, Claire (Kirsten Dunst), who will become his love interest. She is a woman in a movie, and therefore she is supposed to be quirky and charming and maybe a little bit crazy, all of which seems to really annoy Drew. Again, if Drew is intent on killing himself, it is hard to understand why he bothers engaging with life long enough to be “annoyed” with people. Whatever. Fuck Drew.
He gets to Kentucky and meets his father’s “wacky” family, who he has supposedly never really gotten to know, despite the fact that we are told throughout the movie how much Mitch loved Kentucky and how much Kentucky loved Mitch right back. I guess you never do know how other people’s families operate, but this still seems off. There is supposedly some festering animosity because Drew’s mother (Susan Sarandon, who can basically do no wrong, but who also reminds us, with this movie and her weird New York ping pong bar that she bought for her 23-year-old boyfriend or whatever, that no one is perfect not even Susan Sarandon) “made” Mitch and the family move to California, but that doesn’t explain why the family never at least went back to visit Kentucky WITH Mitch who would obviously still go back there, since that is where he died? But, OK, if we accept that it’s true that Drew hasn’t been to Kentucky since he was a kid despite his father’s overwhelming attachment to it, and that Drew doesn’t have a relationship with anyone there, and also that he gets lost for hours on the way from the Louisville airport, then why did the entire town organize a hero’s welcome and how did they know when to throw it?
P.S. Drew’s aunt is Paula Deen.
This movie is perfect.
That night at the hotel, Drew calls his mother and his sister and his ex-girlfriend, but no one answers the phone. Desperate, he calls Claire and they end up talking for hours. AGAIN: why does someone who plans on killing himself feel like chatting on the phone with anyone who will have him? It would be one thing if these calls were a desperate cry for help, but they’re just inane small talk. (Then again, everyone Drew talks to on the phone is equally insane about it. Like, his sister calls to beg him to come home even though she’s going to be in Kentucky two days later, and his ex-girlfriend calls him to tell him that she doesn’t have time to talk but so why did she call him if she didn’t have time and also was breaking up with him? What a movie about space aliens.) Here are actual quotes from his supposed all-night phone call with Claire (during which he wears three different pairs of socks for some reason?):
Claire: Did you ever just think, I’m fooling everybody?
Drew: You have no idea.
Claire: I think I’ve been asleep most of my life.
Drew: Me too.
Drew: That’s what they say, at least.
Claire: I’ve always wondered this, who are “they”?
Drew: And who says we have to listen to “them”?!
Claire: “They” do!
It’s two very inane people having a very trite conversation composed entirely of very lazy cliches suddenly realizing that they are made for each other, which is itself an inanely trite cliche. They talk for so long that Claire, who is in Nashville, suggests they meet halfway to watch the sunrise. “You’re only 45 minutes away,” she says.
NOPE! Click to enlarge Lie #1,098,982.
Now they are in love. They flirt and court and spout nonsense and go shopping for urns and eventually they fall into bed together as a movie couple should. The whole thing is supposed to be very romantic. And it is, if you are not paying attention to the actual movie. The morning after they sleep together, Claire keeps trying to wake Drew up to say goodbye, but he is a deep sleeper, so she just sneaks out of the room. Uh, you can wake someone up if you want. It’s doable. But, so, everything is hitting all the right rom-com buttons when he runs out of the hotel in his bare feet to catch her before she leaves and she turns around and says “Why don’t you just admit that you love me?” Except, here’s the thing: when they slept together, Claire was cheating on her boyfriend. And instead of Drew telling her that he loves her, he goes into this long, self-indulgent speech about shoes and money that ends with him admitting that he for sure still (STILL!) plans on killing himself at the end of the weekend. To which she responds that he’s “an artist” (!!!!). So, you know, fuck Drew AND Claire.
By all accounts, this was a very “personal” movie for Cameron Crowe, or at least that is what he told everyone when he made it. From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“I always thought I’d write about my dad, at some point,” said Crowe, whose late father was from Kentucky. “I didn’t think it would be like this, but it arrived like this. I’d been listening to a lot of Garrison Keillor at the time. I love that simple story that ends on a grace note and you go, ‘Wow, I’m just happy to be alive right now.’ That was the feeling I was chasing.”
OK. That’s a perfectly reasonable feeling to chase as a filmmaker. Everybody loves that feeling! And the thing about Elizabethtown is that there is actually, buried somewhere deep inside of it, a good movie about family and love and loss and moving forward. It’s just buried under so many recalled pairs of SPASMOTICAS. If Cameron Crowe wanted to write about his dad, why didn’t he? There are two moments in Elizabethtown where Drew gets lost in memories of his father: the first memory is the two of them dancing around an empty house on moving day, and the second is his dad buckling his seatbelt. REALLY?! That’s the BEST either Drew or Cameron Crowe could come up with? For a personal movie ABOUT a dad? Good grief. And it’s this combination of this bland, completely generalized and cliche depiction of the human emotional experience, combined with the myriad lies thrown in for “color” that makes this such a failure. Or is it fiasco?
The movie’s climactic moment is a memorial service that features all of the characters we have met in the movie giving some kind of their-character-appropriate tribute to Mitch. This ends with Susan Sarandon giving a rousing speech about what her life is like now without her husband. She talks about how she went temporarily crazy. She talks about how she’d always wanted to learn how to tap dance, so she took lessons. OK. She talks about how she’d always wanted to learn how to “cook organically,” whatever that even means, and so she learned how to do that. Sure. And then she explains that the loss of Mitch made her realize that she needed to learn how to laugh again, and so she took stand up comedy classes. Fine. And in her defense, the movie does get kind of fuzzy on timelines and chronology, but from what I can tell that is three separate classes and MITCH HAS BEEN DEAD FOR LESS THAN A WEEK.
She ends the speech with a story about boners that CRUSHES, and then rounds out her performance with a tap-dance to “Moon River” that receives a standing ovation.
Perhaps we are all dead, and this is hell.
What happens next I remember as being a source of particular contention in my original viewing of the movie. Kirsten Dunst, ever the coy imp, gives Orlando Bloom a map for his journey home because in their first all-night conversation she told him he simply must take a cross-country road trip. (She adds, “You really haven’t traveled, have you?” which you would kind of think that a high-paid celebrity wunderkind shoe designer from Oregon-based Mercury Worldwide Shoes would have traveled at least a little bit, but guys, let’s just get through this fucking thing.) Sure! OK! Romantic! Except, this map that she supposedly made for him the night before would literally take 100 production assistants 100 years of scrappbooking in 100 scrapbooks to complete.
It’s 1,000,000 pages long, filled with hand-drawn art, personalized photographs, collages, and mix tapes that she has supposedly timed to the minute. Fine, whatever. In an impossible world of inane cliches and empty airplanes where time has no meaning, this manic pixie dream map is the least of our problems. Because, and perhaps this is where the aforementioned vantage point of age and experience comes in, this time around re-watching Elizabethtown was when I noticed that Claire’s impossible scrapbook was not nearly as bizarre as the actual road trip she sends him on. Holy smokes, WHAT IS THIS ROAD TRIP?
First, her itinerary takes him to Memphis, where she tells him to visit Sun Records. At no point in the entire movie has he ever expressed any interest in music, much less 1950s rock and roll. (Unless we are supposed to get all of that from his flip phone ring tone, in which case, still no.) Next, still in Memphis, she tells him to go to some bar where the old bartender regales him with stories about blues men. Again: he’s never even mentioned the blues, much less expressed the highly detailed knowledge of blues history one would need to make sense of an old Memphis bartender’s deep cut stories. Finally, still in Memphis, he visits the motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. And he SCATTERS SOME OF HIS DAD’S ASHES THERE.
And that’s the whole trip. Three places in Memphis of virtually no relevance to his character and then he hits the road again. GUYS. THIS MOVIE.
When Drew is back on the road, he begins manically talking to his father’s urn because Claire’s itinerary does not seem to make any allowances for stopping to sleep (seriously, she says the trip will take 41 hours, and apparently they must be contiguous) and at one point in his babbling he tells his father that his impending suicide is not his father’s fault. So he’s still planning on that, by the way. After having all of this time with his family, a memorial service for his father, falling in love, and visiting Sun Studios, he is still suicidal? Fine. Please, Drew, please please please for the love of God: KILL YOURSELF. But he can’t kill himself yet because the mix CD tells him that in the next town he will find “The World’s 2nd Largest Farmer’s Market.” Trying to figure out why a person who is STILL determined to kill himself would bother stopping to see the World’s 2nd Largest Farmer’s Market is only slightly more annoying than the fact that Cameron Crowe admits in that same article quoted above that the World’s 2nd Largest Farmer’s Market doesn’t exist. (Lie #3,303,493,208,047*.)
Then the mix CD tells him to follow a series of scavenger hunt clues that will lead him to “a girl wearing a red hat,” which is Claire, and the long and meaningful life of love and happiness that she promises. Classic stuff. One must assume, of course, that she dumped her boyfriend at this point, and that although he JUST said he was still suicidal 45 seconds earlier, that Drew has finally found his will to live. BUT: if you’re willing to accept those things, AND if it doesn’t bother you too much to consider the logistical complication of what it actually means for Claire to have arranged this meet cute in the first place, which is that she would have had to have RACED from Elizabethtown where they both were the day before to get to this World’s 2nd Largest Non-Existent Farmer’s Market early enough to then place her scavenger hunt clues, AND if you don’t also wonder, after all of this effort–the impossible scrapbook, the impeccably-timed narrated CDs, the scavenger hunt clues planted in the nick of time–why Claire didn’t bother to make the ultimate goal of actually finding her in the market easier and more straight-forward than Drew just being told to “find a girl in a red hat,” and therefore leaving him to wander around like an asshole in what magically turns out to be A SEA of girls in red hats—-as long as none of that stuff gets in the way, or any of the rest of the movie, like if you ignore the whole movie, then you might even consider it a happy ending. Or as Cameron Crowe would refer to a suicidal space alien and a cheater kissing at a make believe novelty farmer’s market, a “grace note.”
In conclusion, Elizabethtown is The Worst Movie Of All Time.
In 2016 they harvested a total of 1.4 million metric tons of salmonids.
Not surprisingly, Norway and Chile dominate the overview presenting the world’s 20 largest salmon producers. Of the twenty largest, 11 companies have their head office in Norway, six in Chile, while the United Kingdom, the Faroe Islands and Canada have one each.
Marine Harvest is still indisputably the biggest, with slaughter volume last year of 380,621 metric tons, according to an overview compiled by Salmon Business.
The position as the world’s largest marine farming enterprise has been held by Marine Harvest since the acquisition of Hydro Seafood in 2000, and was further strengthened by the takeover of Fjord Seafood, Stolt Sea Farm and Pan Fish in 2006.
Marine Harvest site at Hjartholm, Western Norway. Photo: Aslak Berge
In fact, Marine Harvest slaughters almost as much fish annually as the combined volume for the next three producers on the table.
Ranking second after Marine Harvest is a company whose business address is in Bergen, Norway, Lerøy Seafood Group.
Lerøy has, when including its holding in Scottish Seafarms (owned 50/50 together with SalMar), total slaughter volume of 164,200 metric tons.
The largest non-Norwegian producer is Cooke Aquaculture with 77,000 metric tons. The family company, headed by Glenn Cooke, is based in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick, in eastern Canada.
The time with extraordinary growth in production volume among producers appears to be behind us. In recent years the salmon market has been distinguished by declining growth in supply. In 2016 a fall was registered in slaughter volumes – for the third time since 2009.
If one is to take the word of the analyst corps that keeps a close eye on the industry, slaughter volumes are expected to increase in 2017. The consensus estimates lie around four percent growth up from the level in 2016.