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04-17-2019, 01:11 PM #1
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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
04-17-2019, 04:09 PM #2
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.
05-15-2019, 01:09 AM #3
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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05-15-2019, 10:11 AM #4
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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.Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.
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05-16-2019, 01:57 PM #5
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
05-16-2019, 04:37 PM #6
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.)
05-22-2019, 06:41 PM #7
We have several and one has a lot of organic and locally grown produce. It's much less expensive than grocery stores.Kim
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