Farmers' Markets: Success, Failure, and Management Ecology

by Garry Stephenson


Farmers’ Markets: Success, Failure and Management Ecology is the only book presently available that investigates the current phenomenal growth of farmers’ markets in the U.S. The research is a reflection of a period marked by growing consumer interest in locally produced foods, a resistance toward a globalizing food system, and seemingly boundless interest in and support for farmers’ markets.

Using an ecological approach, the book explores historic trends related to growth and decline in market numbers, examines the management organization associated with markets of specific sizes, analyzes the characteristics and issues associated with markets that fail, and offers a model that illustrates how farmers’ market organizers successfully adapt to barriers and challenges in their environment. The book engages a node in the food system that has implications for the economic health of small farms and the social and economic life of communities.

The book incorporates both the academic and the practical. It will be an important reference to students and researchers across disciplines with interests in food system research, as well as practitioners managing or working with farmers’ markets. As an applied study, the book provides information and recommendations to assist markets with decision making and strategic planning. Although the focus of this research is on one area in the United States, the findings have broad application.

The foreword to this study is by distinguished scholar and food system analyst, Gail Feenstra of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) at the University of California, Davis.


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