What are farmers markets like where you live?
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  1. #1
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    Default What are farmers markets like where you live?

    I am curious about what farmers markets are where different people live.

    The farmers market near where I work is pricey. It would be cheaper to get produce at the local grocery store. I understand there are good reasons to get things at the farmers market - supporting local farmers, getting fresher food - but price is not one of them.

    The farmers market is also maybe about one third produce. The rest is baked goods, pizza, popcorn and food truck like offerings.

    As a background, the area around here is pretty urban. Outside the city is all suburbs. It is a bit of drive before you start to get to farmland. The farmers market near where I work is a weekly market (seasonal) in the parking lot of the Department of Agriculture - downtown DC.

    I am wondering if farmers markets in smaller towns are more like traditional farmers market, i.e. mostly produce, maybe some herbs or eggs. And maybe cost competitive with grocery stores. Or possibly even larger to mid sized cities in part of the country that are more rural.
    KathyB

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    My local farmer's market sounds a lot like yours, Kathy, although I haven't really done a price comparison. Then again, there are some things I prefer to get from the farmer's market - strawberries, figs, and ginger - which simply taste better than store bought. I also can get gooseberries, which I can't get in the local store.

    My local market is about half fresh produce and half prepared foods (tomato and curry sauces, baked produce, pickles, etc.) with 3 food trucks. Well, 2 food truck and 1 juice truck. My market is where I met my friend who is an herbalist. That alone makes going to the market worth my time since I can actually ask her questions. (And I've taken some of her classes.) She doesn't vend at the markets anymore since it's just her and her husband taking care of their farm/business.

    They have musicians that perform, including student bands. One of the unique vendors at the 'regular' market is a knife sharpener and he's done pretty good business since he's started. People can bring knives and tools to be sharpened while they browse the rest of the market. They also have some other 'vendors' of interest - hospital related people who offer blood pressure testing, open/green area reps, etc. So there's a bit of a community interest situation going on as well as shopping.

    I know where a few of the vendors are, which are relatively close to me. We have a weekly regular market (May - November) and 2x-per-month winter market (December - April) with mostly the same vendors. The weekly market sets up in one of the parking lots near the local train station and the winter market has settled into one of the local athletic centers for the past few years.

    There's another farmer's market that's a bit further away from me but is still relatively closer than some of the others instate. The manager from my market is going to take over that one, which sounds like it's a more permanent market. That one is located in a more urban area and has more prepared goods and artists/artisans. She wants to bring a bit more balance to that market - keep what has been attracting people (the artists, etc.) but bring in more farmers and food vendors. That area is more of a food desert than my area, especially with fresh foods and local goods.

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    There are 2 that we go to...One is nearby but not a true farmer's market. I've counted 3 farmers at the most selling fruits/veg. They are all very expensive and organic. As the season goes on, it gets taken over by people selling candles/clothing/purses and a couple of bakeries and local beef farmers. Again, the prices are outrageous. $7 for a cantaloupe.....

    The other is further north and has mostly food- dried pasta, fruits/veg/breads/cakes/salsas...Even goat meat. Again, quite pricey but a lot more fun. I got a date & ginger cupcake for $3. Very good. I buy their pastas at $8/lb. Flavors like garlic chive, Asian ginger root and spicy thai to name a few.... Sooo good.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    There are two major farmers markets here. One downtown is open 6 days a week and is all produce. It comes from everywhere. It mostly sells to restaurants, you have to buy in quantity from most vendors. It's been years since I have been downtown but I think on Saturday they have other vendors with home made soap, jewelry, olive oil, honey, food etc. The food prices are decent, and of course if you buy in bulk the price gets better.

    The other market I used to go to is in the suburbs. It is held on Wed and Sat, and I can't get there on Wed because of my yoga class. It's in a bad location, the parking lot for the shopping area it's in, so you have to park on the street or in another lot. Last year they started putting new high rise apartments up in 3 of the surrounding properties, so there is construction and NO parking anywhere. The area also got trendy with restaurants, filling up those lots. Anyway they have strict rules, produce has to be from either of the two surrounding states, anything else has to be locally made or a locally owned business. They have vendors from an immigrant farm program selling exotic vegetables grown here, I like to support them. In addition to produce I have seen honey, bread, meat, wine, olive oil, and herbs. There's no crafts or food trucks. One year we bought rain barrels from the girl scouts there. The vegetable prices vary. I remember some being cheaper than grocery stores, and sometimes more expensive.

    There's a couple other very small markets around. Last year I went to the organic market near me: one commercial vegetable seller with expensive overgrown produce (zuchinni like watermelon) and three or four tables of herbal remedies, crystals, etc. and a massage therapist. Disappointing. I have been to a couple of other small markets and they sell the same things I have coming out of my own garden, so I quit going.

    Generally in the summer we have good produce in the grocery stores. This is farm country after all. It's not sitting in a truck or a warehouse for weeks before it gets to consumers. Right now even what we're getting from south and central america is looking good.
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    there are loads of them here every city (all cities are close here) has one quite trendy plus just going out to the farms to buy stuff or u pick berries etc

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    Right now, the closest farmer's market is selling mostly seedlings/started plants. We have a couple of food trucks but the market's mainly a mix of fresh produce and some prepared food (most of which use local/instate ingredients, some even from the farms that sell at the market). The stuff will change as the season progresses. There's one 'local' wine vendor and a fresh fish vendor as well.

    I totally forgot there's another local market on Thursday next to one of the local libraries. That one has more prepared foods but it's both during the week and during work (day) hours. So I don't get a chance to go. The one I usually go to is on Saturdays and I stop in right when it opens. (I"m a morning/day person.)

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    We have several and one has a lot of organic and locally grown produce. It's much less expensive than grocery stores.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyB View Post
    I am curious about what farmers markets are where different people live.

    The farmers market near where I work is pricey. It would be cheaper to get produce at the local grocery store. I understand there are good reasons to get things at the farmers market - supporting local farmers, getting fresher food - but price is not one of them.

    The farmers market is also maybe about one third produce. The rest is baked goods, pizza, popcorn and food truck like offerings.

    As a background, the area around here is pretty urban. Outside the city is all suburbs. It is a bit of drive before you start to get to farmland. The farmers market near where I work is a weekly market (seasonal) in the parking lot of the Department of Agriculture - downtown DC.

    I am wondering if farmers markets in smaller towns are more like traditional farmers market, i.e. mostly produce, maybe some herbs or eggs. And maybe cost competitive with grocery Onlinesbi sudoku aadhar card stores. Or possibly even larger to mid sized cities in part of the country that are more rural.
    Generally in the summer we have good produce in the grocery stores. This is farm country after all. It's not sitting in a truck or a warehouse for weeks before it gets to consumers. Right now even what we're getting from south and central america is looking good.

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    I went to one in Wrightwood, CA, which is a town of 5,000. I was surprised at how expensive everything was. I usually buy my produce at an Armenian market called Valley Produce that has excellent sales. I also buy what's on special at Sprouts. Their prices are a third of what I paid at the Farmers Market. I also grow a lot of fruit, which helps cut my grocery bill. Right now I am eating through pomegranates and oranges from the orchard. I love home grown produce.

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    I have been to FM in AL and it was produce that was bought wholesale, as far as I could see. Around here in VT, it is local produce. Lots of small farms around here. We even have a winter (inside) FM where you can buy winter vegs, cheese, meat, eggs, honey, etc.
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    We have two in town that run in the spring, summer, and fall. They are, however, VERY pricey. Then we have one in a building that is run year round, but it is filthy and smells horrible. DD and I went there once and there were bugs on the food, etc. The parking lot ones in the spring and summer and fall are better run and cleaner, but it's so much cheaper for me to get the fruit/vegetables on sale at the grocery store. I'm sure it's healthier at the farmer's market. It's a trade-off.
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    There are two larger ones I used to go to, along with several smaller ones that pop up in parking lots (which I haven't been to). One of the larger ones is smack dab in the middle of the city, but has a fair amount of farmers that bring in produce. It's all very expensive, though. The rest of it is baked goods and whatnot, along with CBD oil all over the place. The second larger one is on the outskirts of the city, in actual farmland, and almost entirely produce. The selection is much better, and the prices are acceptable. The problem there is distance, and I can still get excellent produce at cheap prices at my local grocery store. The only time I go to the farmers market any more is when I'm looking to make pickles, as I can search through the bins of pickle-sized cucumbers to get what I want (short, gherkin-sized cucumbers).

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    Our local farmer's markets run from the end of April/early part of May through the end of September/first part of October. There are a few produce vendors but they all sell pretty much the same things - onions, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, garlic, cucumbers, carrots, watermelons, cantaloupe, corn, herbs, etc. Some are less expensive than I can get at the grocery store, but some are more expensive. One vendor at the larger of the two markets is an organization that aids developmentally challenged adults and I tend to buy from them even if they're more expensive because I want to support the organization. Most of the other vendors are craft vendors or specialty food vendors. I would say 70% of the vendors fall into these last two categories.

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    In the summer we have one in the park once a month. It's vendors cooking food and everyone brings crafts to sell. Couple sell plants. Houseplants. Sometimes someone will have jams and/or jellies.

    Another town there are several along the road in varying sizes. I've stopped a few times in the past. Now I just watch for the sales at one of the regular grocery stores I go to and shop the sales in season and/or when the price is up my alley.
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