2014 49¢ Fruits and Vegetables
This stamp was one of four issued to celebrate America’s farmers markets that sell fresh, local produce. The First Day of Issue took place during National Farmers Market Week.
The earliest farmers’ markets are said to have existed in Egypt over 5,000 years ago. Farmers along the Nile River would bring fresh goods to sell at one collective location. The idea persisted throughout history and spread across the globe. In the United States, informal farmers’ markets were likely present as early as the Jamestown Settlement.
Modern markets, with rows of tents or booths set up for each vendor, emerged in the early 19th century. At that time, municipally owned markets, known as public markets, were a central point of food distribution and local commerce. But as the population began to move to more suburban areas in the 20th century, supermarkets replaced the public markets. The government-run farmers’ markets could not compete with private enterprise.
By the 1960s and 70s, growing concern over the use of pesticides and preservatives in food sparked a renewed interest in farmers’ markets. Consumer focus shifted toward organic agriculture and alternatives to the industrial food system. Since then, the number of farmers’ markets has steadily grown nationwide.
From the open-air markets in city centers to the year-round market halls, the so-called “farm to table” movement continues to promote farmers’ markets.
The Farmers Market stamps were illustrated by Robin Moline. After trying a number of designs that conveyed the atmosphere of a farmers market, the artist decided to concentrate on the products being sold while giving the feel of a wooden market stall.
49¢ Farmers Market, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: August 7, 2014, National Farmers Market Week
City: Washington, DC
Quantity: 25 million stamps
Printed By: Aston Potter USA Ltd.
Printing Method: Lithographed in sheets of 100 with five panes of 20 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾