Farmers’ markets are coming of age…again. According to the American Farmland Trust, new markets are sprouting up all over the US. Figures were up to 4,685 in 2008 compared to 3,137 in 2002. Just as our ancestors in the old world probably did before us, today’s urban citizens are flocking to the market on weekends to buy fresh produce directly from the farmer’s basket and socialize with our neighbors. The concept seems pretty simple and definitely very wholesome, but are our cities really equipped to go back to this way of life? Can local and urban farmers really produce enough food to feed a city? Can cities effectively get food out to the population?
Right now, the answer is probably no. But as this cultural shift towards local food takes hold, creative minds are coming up with creative solutions to take our cities back to the future, in a sense.
Redesign Your Farmers’ Market is a contest sponsored by GOOD Magazine, The Architect’s Newspaper, the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, and The Los Angeles Good Food Network.
The objective is simple. All designers, architects, farmers, chefs, vendors, and farmers’ market shoppers are being asked to think about how to improve upon the farmers’ market experience. How can we change our food delivery systems to allow for the time and distance between farm and fork to be minimized? What kind of new venues or products distribution methods, or marketing mechanisms need to be invented to make local food a feasible and affordable reality for all modern urban denizens?
The deadline to submit ideas is September 1st. Entries will be evaluated by a jury of architects, urban planners, journalists, city leaders, chefs, and farmers and the winners will be announced on September 3rd at the Farmers’ Market : 30 Years and Growing event in Los Angeles.