It started with a simple mission: giving farmers the opportunity to travel into the the big city and sell their home-grown produce to shoppers looking for an alternative to buying their food from the grocery store.

One of the first in the United States was the Gardena Farmers' Market in Southern California. It began in 1979 to not only unite farmers with consumers, but also give smaller growers the opportunity to remain competitive in the commercial farming industry.

Produce at farmers' markets is renowned for being locally-grown and very fresh.

Farmers' markets allow farmers to pick produce at the peak of flavor and preserve the nutritional content of fresh produce.

Farmers' markets often feature produce grown naturally or organically. They typically have meats that are raised humanely on pasture, handmade farmstead cheeses, eggs and poultry from free-range fowl, as well as heirloom produce and heritage breeds of meat and fowl.

Farmers' markets are a traditional way of selling agricultural and home manufactured products. A weekly market day is a part of normal life in villages and town squares throughout the world.

A good way for a traveler to sample local foods and learn about local culture is to attend market day, especially when it coincides with a festival. In France, Spain, and other European countries, there exist street markets, as well as covered marketplaces, where farmers and purveyors sell.