Although today’s farmers markets seem more concerned with the authenticity of the heirloom pedigrees of their produce than with feeding the hungry, it wasn’t always that way. The public markets that date back to the early days of the colonies were important both for trade and keeping people fed. More recently, in the birth of the modern farmers market movement more than 40 years ago, antihunger groups played a key role. In the early 1970s, the direct retail sale of fruits and vegetables by farmers was illegal in California, and the first modern farmers markets in the state opened in 1979, after the then-and-again governor, Jerry Brown, signed the Direct Marketing Act, allowing growers to sell directly to consumers.