Is your farmers market fresh or false? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Is your farmers market fresh or false?

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GREEN BLUFF, Wash. -

May brings farmers markets back outdoors in major cities across the country, and more and more families participating in this 'farm to fork' economy. But there are some things you should know about these vendors before you buy.

The Inland Northwest is on the cutting edge of this culinary change. When it comes to a commitment to bringing local food to the community, Oregon is ranked #3, Montana ranked #4, Idaho is #12, and Washington ranked #16 in the nation, according to the latest non-profit Locavore Index. And it's never been easier to access local agriculture - the USDA's National Farmers Market Directory now lists more than 8,600 markets, an increase of more than 75% since 2008.  

Yet, the sheer number of new markets can make it hard to spot farmers from the fakers. For example, some vendors in California and Utah cheated, and sold store bought produce as their own.

For this story, Reporter Katie Chen asked Nick Simchuk, Head Grower at Hidden Acres in Green Bluff, Washington, for advice on how to make sure the local food you want isn't some store bought wanna-be.

Watch our report, then check out these maps allowing you to locate the farmers' markets nearest you across the Inland Northwest:

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