GREEN SHOOTS: The number of farmers markets nationwide grew nearly 10 percent last year, reflecting growing demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables, the Agriculture Department said.

HOT POCKETS: California and New York are leading the way, with some markets so popular that farmers are on wait lists to sell their produce.

WIRELESS GREENBACKS: The USDA is working to make markets more accessible by outfitting them with wireless point-of-sale equipment and the ability to accept food stamps.