Farmers Markets

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  #1  
Old 08-07-12, 08:03 AM
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Farmers Markets

We went to a farmers market this weekend. Lots of local produce and products and of course everything is completely organic - and overpriced.

It got me wondering - "organic?" says who? A guy can grow some corn, spray it all season and sell it as organic 'cause nobody is checking.

Then there are the people that go to the local supermarket, buy whatever produce is on sale and then resell it at a farmers market as home grown - for twice the price.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-07-12, 08:14 AM
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We have a guy who sets up down the street under a canopy every few days (I assume he changes location once in a while) with signs for watermelon, oranges, cantaloupes, berries, tomatoes, etc. I stopped in once assuming they were local farmed or brought up from where they are local.

Well, same exact stuff you buy in the store, boxes, mesh bags, stickers, and all. And they weren't really any cheaper than the stores. Now.....why do I want to buy stuff that's been sitting in the sun in 100 degree heat for who knows how long? Some of it was so soft I thought it would turn to mush before I got home.
 
  #3  
Old 08-07-12, 08:20 AM
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My parents by a lot of produce at a couple different farmers markets but have been doing it for so long they know the vendors and which are going to give them good quality at a good price.

There's a market outside my building every Thursday during the season and I have yet to buy anything out of paranoia of not know what I would be getting.
 
  #4  
Old 08-07-12, 08:23 AM
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Organic, haha
The stuff came from the ground... technically it's all organic.

As for the farmer's markets, here they tend to be cheaper then the stores. Now that I live in a farming/tourist town, I tent to buy from the farmers as much as I can vs. buying at the store.
 
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Old 08-07-12, 08:26 AM
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It makes me nervous when I see the farmers selling perfect looking tomatoes.

Maybe they know something I don't but the ones I grow almost never come out perfect looking but sure do taste good.
 
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Old 08-07-12, 09:13 AM
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I like it early on in the season when they are advertising "LOCAL" grown tomatoes. Hey, it's only April, where did you get local grown tomatoes in a place where the frost is still on the ground ??? OH, Brownsville, TX.....well that ain't local.
These guys move on to some other unsuspecting clientele.
 
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Old 08-07-12, 09:46 AM
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At the market we went to last Sunday there was a guy selling "meat" out of the back of his truck. He had it in coolers. "Home grown" beef and chicken. Not for me.

One of the local farmer's market's has a stand operated by a local church. They sell mostly baked goods. I always spring for a pie and it's always really, really good..
 
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Old 08-07-12, 10:23 AM
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On the other side of the coin, there are some vendors that clearly sell produce that they grew - or was at least less likely to be bought at a store and resold. Some of the vendors sell different varieties of things that you just don't ever see at the grocery store. That's the stuff I like.
 
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Old 08-07-12, 10:50 AM
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Seattle has their famous (INfamous as far as I'm concerned) Pike Place Market. This tourist trap (a lot of locals also get skinned, er, I mean, buy, there) has a few local farmers but the "high stallers" definitely need to be watched carefully. They will have beautiful displays of vegetables and fruits but they absolutely will NOT let you select from the display. Instead they will fill a brown paper bag out of your sight, close the top and ask for payment BEFORE giving you the bag. When you get home you find that you got a bunch of produce at a high price that you would have NEVER paid for in a store where you were able to select your own.

On the other hand, the suburbs have many one-day-a-week (not necessarily on week-ends) farmer's markets and probably 50% or more of the merchants sell locally grown produce.
 
  #10  
Old 08-07-12, 11:43 AM
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My sister's greenhouses are unused this time of year so someone suggested she have a Farmers Market one day a week in the fall. She rents out tables to the local lady farmers and makes a few bucks.

Excellent idea if you like fresh produce probably picked the day before. Very little if any hauled back to the farm.

Only downside is these women all know each other and it sounds like a chicken coop.....all clucking away like a bunch of hens.
 
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Old 08-07-12, 11:59 AM
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Furd...we went to Pike Place when we visited my wifes son a few years back. I'd been there before on ship visits. Anyway...that wasn't my experience at all...though I'm sure it might happen. They gave us samples of the fruit we were interested in (pears and apples mostly) and let us eat the whole thing. We got some very nice stuff. Of course we also went during the week...not a weekend.
And we weren't tourists...just visitors...lol.

Same with some smoked salmon we bought. Wife loved it and son sent some similar this year for her birthday. 1/2 the amount and almost double the price (incl shipping).

The bad thing was...we couldn't get anything close when we came home. Loved the piroshki too...another loss.


I still refused to stand in line for 30 min and pay double the price for a cup of coffee from the original Starbucks. Pretty easy since I quit drinking coffee.....lol.
 
  #12  
Old 08-07-12, 04:39 PM
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I think the general point of buying from a farmer's market is to get the freshest produce. Who cares how far away it comes. what exactly does "local" mean? There is a well known farmer's market in NYC. I can assure you that 99% of that stuff is not coming from urban farms.

The better markets will have a standard as to who can sell. You should at least ask about the farm they come from.
 
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Old 08-07-12, 06:15 PM
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Aaah, Hunts Point Market, NYC!! You're right Droo, most of it comes in by truck from all over. But it is fresh!!! In times gone by, you had to hire a "guide" to help back you into the market, because your mirrors wouldn't clear and had to be folded back flat. Tight was the word.
 
  #14  
Old 08-07-12, 06:28 PM
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This sure is a coincidence as our city College Park wants to get a farmers market set up in north College Park which is where we live. So I just did a local survey telling them that I would like to see a farmers market. They have another farmers market in the south part of town but we don't go near there unless we don't have a choice. Too many college kids who don't know how to drive and been a few incidents there too. Much quieter where we live.
They are thinking of two locations a nearby ball field and our local organic grocery store which already tries to get local produce so I suggested shifting the market to the different locations on different days.
Been to many a farmers market and produce stand done by about the last local farm in the area and I have to agree with some of you who had bad experiences but also agree with those who had good experiences too. It just depends on who you go to and you have to kind of look over things real well before you buy and decide on how honest you feel they are. I agree about the meat though I really wouldn't want to eat any meat from a farmers market as I doubt it could be kept cold enough. Vegetables yes or any fruit but meat I could never buy from a farmers market.
 
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Old 08-08-12, 03:42 AM
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It is all up to the buyers. They must be educated enough to know about growing seasons, types of veggies that are not being imported and sold, and what the current super market pricing is on the items. Once the buyers refuse to buy overpriced produce brought in from other markets by scalpers, and concentrate on locally grown stuff (and you can tell by the tag numbers on the trucks that brought it in) the other sellers/scalpers will move on and you will have a peaceful little market that is honest and will save you money while still providing sustenance to the growers/sellers.
 
  #16  
Old 08-08-12, 04:06 AM
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I think you guys are talking about a different kind of farmer's markets. I'm talking about a dozen or so guys selling from the back of their pickup trucks.
 
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Old 08-08-12, 02:04 PM
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Well, yeah, but on steroids. We have a local farmer's market that is only open on Saturday. People from all around bring produce and craft items to sell. More than a dozen but less than 100. Pretty organized, too. Set up like a trucking dock with all the vendors pulled up to it and you walk down a concrete raised platform choosing what you want.
 
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