By Joanna Lin
The number of farmers markets in California grew 25.7 percent last year, making the state home to one out of 10 markets nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest tally.
The 2011 National Farmers Market Directory, released last week, counted 7,175 markets in the country - a 17 percent increase since 2010. California remains the nation's leader in farmers markets with 729 locations, up from 580 last year.
Farmers markets have grown substantially since the USDA began compiling its directory in 1994, when it reported just 1,755 markets nationwide. The fastest-growing states for farmers markets this year were Alaska - a 46 percent jump over last year with 35 markets - and Texas, whose 166 markets represented a 38 percent increase.