Bay Area farmers markets are widely popular among buyers and sellers, as they create the opportunity to buy and sell an abundance of goods. College of San Mateo’s Farmers Market, one of the biggest farmers markets in the area, has over 95 vendors and gets anywhere from 3,500 to 6,000 customers on Saturdays.
Farmers markets have been popular throughout California for over a hundred years, and have continued to become increasingly popular throughout the past decade. Because of the continuous growth of markets, it’s often overlooked that farmers markets were on a decline in the mid-1900s.
During the mid-20th century, California created regulations that made it difficult for farmers to sell their produce at farmers markets. Small farms had to follow the same rules and regulations as the big farm corporations who shipped their produce nationwide reports scotscoop.com
This created a problem for small farms because they were unable to afford to follow the strict regulations created for large corporations. Many of the regulations created were unnecessary for small farms to follow because they weren’t shipping their produce long distances and selling their products on a large scale.
Small farms wanted to sell their food without having to abide by regulations regarding minimum size, labeling, standard packaging, and container requirements that were unnecessary and for them to follow.
A few years later in 1977, Governor Brown listened to what many small farms had to say and issued an executive order ending the regulations previously created. With the new order, California farmers still have to follow quality standards established by marketing orders but don’t have to follow rules created for big corporations.
Since then, farmers markets have flourished, and farmers and consumers have continued to flock to the markets throughout California. As of 2022, there are over 700 farmers markets scattered throughout the state.
The ability for small farms to sell produce again was important because many small farms greatly rely on farmers markets for their business. Now, there are some farms, like Medina Farms, that solely sell at farmers markets as a source of income.