It’s that time of year again! Time for the freshest produce available locally to hit farmers’ markets in your area. The number of local farmers’ markets in Virginia has grown tremendously in recent years. The state is now home to more than 240 markets, a significant increase from just 88 in 2005. “We do see changes from year to year with markets, both new ones coming on and old ones going out of business,” said Elaine Lidholm, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services which operates the Virginia Grown marketing program. “Generally, however, we see overall growth and not loss.” Want to find local foods near you? Every time you shop at a local farmers’ market, you help support Virginia agriculture and farmers in your community. To find a market near you, use the locator on the Virginia Farm Bureau website, which accesses the National Farmers Market Directory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture at vafb.com/MembershipWork/News-Resources/Farmers-Markets. The Virginia Grown website also has a directory to help you find farm-fresh products at virginiagrown.com. National Farmers Market Week is Aug. 5-11 National Farmers Market Week is an annual celebration sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to highlight the important role farmers’ markets play in the nation’s food system. Now in its 19th season, NFMW is always held during the first full week of August, and many markets hold special activities to celebrate.