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The Farmer's Market

I love this time of year. I spent my childhood summers on my grandparents farm, so grew up eating almost every kind of fresh vegetable you can imaginable. I try to start my summer Saturdays at the local Farmer's Market. This was today's haul

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And this was tonight's dinner.
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NY strip, grilled asparagus, coleslaw, roasted corn and black bean salad, sliced tomatoes.

Asparagus was from the grocery but the rest was local. Steak was from last week' trip.
 
I'd love to enjoy the farmer's markets in my area. Unfortunately the folks selling goods think there products are worth far more than they actually are worth, so I bypass them. One cannot expect to sell a head of lettuce for three times the price that it is sold for in the local grocery market.

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In my area, there are farmers markets everywhere, the wife would rather go to them, than the grocery store. And the prices are, in some cases, not even half of what we pay at the grocery store. Our heavy canning weekends begin soon
 
In my area, there are farmers markets everywhere, the wife would rather go to them, than the grocery store. And the prices are, in some cases, not even half of what we pay at the grocery store. Our heavy canning weekends begin soon
So jealous...

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There's a farm/orchard about 1/4 mile down the road from where I live. I'll be hitting them up like I did last year for some things as they come in season. Sadly, they don't grow sweet corn, tho. :(
 

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
Our downtown is closed down for a farmers' market every Saturday in the Summer. It is a bit yuppyish for my taste but I'll still go a few times. I prefer some of the farm markets and folk selling from their fields. My problem always seems to be overbuying. Hard to pass up fresh veg.
 
That dinner looks great, Mark!

I frequent farmers markets whenever possible, and don't begrudge their trying to make a buck. It's hard enough to earn a living as a small independent farmer. The best bacon I ever had came from one of them.

I'm happy to pay a premium for quality produce. Once you have tasted fruit which was picked a few hours ago and experienced fresh vegetables and salad, it is difficult to go back.
 
My wife and I try to go to the farmers' market every weekend, but actually make it probably twice a month. We found a really good one about 20 minutes from our house. We moved to the DC area in January and spent a few weekends this spring searching for a good one. Most of them out in our area are one vegetable vendor, one meat vendor, and a variety of arts and crafts tents. We've never had good luck with those kinds of farmers' market. They're usually overpriced and the quality is supermarket equivalent (at best).

We eventually found one with 4-5 vegetable vendors, 3-4 meat vendors, and a smattering of random vendors (flowers, salsa, coffee, bread, etc.). The prices are better than the supermarket, and the quality of the produce is top notch (if you get there before 11am). $20 gets you pretty far at that market. We usually spend $25-30 each visit, because something invariably catches our eye and we have to try it. This weekend it was cold brewed coffee.
 
When my daughter was in kindergarten and in school half days we went three times a week, after she was done school at lunch, Would often pop in on Saturdays as well.

In my teens i would go just to wander and pick up a few things.

Has been at least once a week for decades and the last few years twice a week, Saturdays sometimes three different markets in different parts of the city. All our meat, cheeses, butter eggs, fruits and vegetables not growing in the backyard.

dave
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
I frequent farmers markets whenever possible, and don't begrudge their trying to make a buck. It's hard enough to earn a living as a small independent farmer. The best bacon I ever had came from one of them.
Our constant demand for "everything cheaper" has run small farms and businesses out of business. What do we get once the monopolies are fully established? Garbarge that is no longer cheap
 
Our constant demand for "everything cheaper" has run small farms and businesses out of business. What do we get once the monopolies are fully established? Garbarge that is no longer cheap
While I agree that there can be too much of an emphasis placed on getting the best deal, there is also the reality that farmers have to price things at a level that is competitive with the surrounding market. I am not going to pay twice as much for fresh NY peaches if I can get Georgia peaches at the local market. There are a few local farmers stands that sell great produce at very reasonable prices. I can get fresh tomatoes, radishes, onions, etc at a small premium. It is well worth it as the quality is much higher. Another example is honey. I can get locally sourced honey at a reasonable price, at the source, but the price goes way up as soon as it is being sold at a farmers market. And the farmers markets in my area are not necessarily better quality. I realize this is not the case everywhere, but it certainly is here.

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If they're at a farmers market they're costs go up. Have to rent the space, pay insurance, pay the hydro for the space, deal with the health inspectors coming through, have to transport the products to market. Have to pay a wage for someone to man the stall all day. Time away from doing the work necessary to grow or process their products...

dave
 
Our constant demand for "everything cheaper" has run small farms and businesses out of business. What do we get once the monopolies are fully established? Garbarge that is no longer cheap

I disagree. Farmers' markets are booming, which is leading to some of this overpricing. I have 4 or 5 farmers' markets within a 20 minute drive of my house every Saturday. All but one of them are relatively new upstart markets. All but one of them only have a single vendor of each type. All but one of them are overpriced. The one market big enough to have competition between vendors has much lower prices than the other markets in the area. The overpriced markets could probably all be collapsed into one larger market and do much better business. Having one larger market with competitive vendors is the better model, as shown by the one market that isn't overpriced.

Regarding monopolies: They're sold as some ever-present threat, but history shows that without the force of law propping them up, monopolies are quite transient. There's always somebody willing to swoop in and steal your customers while you're busy trying to squeeze them for all they've got.
 
One of the things I love most in LA is the culture of farmer's markets. There's one in every neighborhood it seems like, so you never have to go far, and depending on your neighborhood, there are markets 3 times a week. I have one local in the Palisades and then 3 very close in Santa Monica. I agree, having more vendors means lower prices, but I wager in these markets I am still paying a premium on produce.

I lived in a rural part of Maryland growing up and the best option were the roadside stands at that point. There wasn't a designated farmer's market or flea market that we ever went to. Also, if you know the price you want to pay, many vendors are willing to negotiate. That's one of my favorite parts, the haggle.
 
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