New Market in the Hood

Captain’s Log   5,183

I would love to support our local farmers who grow nice organic produce.  A new farmer’s market opened in my neighborhood yesterday, so I checked it out with Friend Pam.  We were excited to see this.  I was most excited about the fact that it is being staged at a Muslim community center.  How very nice of them to open up their parking lots so the community can have access to a market.

marke

It was a big deal.  When I drove by on my way home from work, there was even a bagpiper standing in front of the market – braying away.  There was absolutely zero parking.  The place was packed.

By the time we walked over, most of the stuff was already gone.  Everything but the organic fruit and veggies.

And this is where I get upset.  As much as I would like to support these efforts, I think it’s quite awful when a local grower will charge almost $4 a pound for organic peaches and $5 a pound for organic tomatoes.  And almost $8 a pound for organic cherries.  I know they are locally grown, but the store down the hill sells the exact same organic produce (from local growers) for half that price.  I don’t even see prices like this at Whole Foods.  These prices were even higher than what I saw at the huge Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles a few weeks ago.

Fact of the matter is……nobody was buying this stuff.  People with kids cannot afford to spend that kind of money.  A single person with a good job is another story.  Then….maybe.

So was it worth it for those growers to bring down all that produce and not sell it?  Would it have been more prudent to lower the prices to fair market value and sell out?  It really puzzles me.  The hummus people were sold out.  The honey producers were sold out.  The salsa people were sold out.  All the dairy products were sold out.

And there sat mountains of cherries, tomatoes, and peaches.

Maybe I don’t understand free enterprise as well as I thought I did. I thought it would be in the farmer’s best interest to sell something that spoils easily as quickly as possible.  With only 45 minutes to go, they still did not lower their prices for a quick sale.  I guess they trucked it all home again.

Then again, it was the first day.  Things can change.  I hope for the better.

 

20 Comments

Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

20 responses to “New Market in the Hood

  1. Mrs D

    I’ve been going to our farmer’s market this season and prices can be obnoxious on some items. I go in with a budget and stick to it no matter what. We’d like to have a farm stand one day, so we consider this research lol. We know we’ll never strike it rich selling fruits/veggies/meat/eggs, but I’d rather support the little guy vs the grocery store. I know a lot of local farms do sell to grocery stores, but I’d rather give to them directly vs through a middle man.

  2. We have a farmer’s market here in the summer and I can’t afford to buy there. I know the produce is healthier, but at what cost? Until they lower their price and are competitive with local market prices, they’re not going to get my money.

  3. goatbarnwitch

    I could give you info on why but this is not the forum

    • poolagirl

      I would like to hear your thoughts. The cheese was very reasonable. So was the honey. But $8 for cherries?

      • goatbarnwitch

        I will just throw this out there…. did you talk to the farmers/vendors at all? Cheap may mean it was not actually grown or produced by the vendor. Having an interesting discussion on a Tufts University listserv on just that topic. The real cost of food is not what most people experience in this country. Subsidies are part of the problem but the bigger issue is that most farmers are not getting a fair price for their products. Recent statistics confirm that the majority of farmers are not making a living wage and dairy farmers in particular are not getting enough for their milk to cover the cost of producing it. That is not to say there are not young farmers out there who think because they look like a cool hipster farmer that they should get $5 for a bunch of radishes…..
        A technical fact about cherries…. large scale orchards have machines that shake the trees to harvest the fruit…. not many humans to do the work so pretty cheap. Small scale orchards will hand pick those very small fruits which is quite time consuming

  4. Patty O'

    If they cannot offer good prices for good value and still pay their booth rental tney don’t deserve to succeed. They ALL have to have the Health Dept’s OK, of course, but they are not paying other overhead: comprehensive and workers comp, wages/payroll taxes, everyday lease, shipping of merchandise, etc. It is essentially grow it, bring it, sell it…at optimum freshness. Those prices are totally out of line.

  5. Carrie Duff

    When i lived in Reno i had a fabulous true farmers market across the street. Just amazing. Great pricing, nice people, just a tiny bit higher than non-organic but so are regular grocery stores. I loved going there every Saturday morning. I really loved Reno.

  6. I expect those sellers will learn by example.

  7. Penny Tushingham

    Could be they were paying a very high price to be part of the market. It’s rare that any parking lot gathering is free to the vendors.

    Pen Pen

  8. bholles

    Maybe they will learn and lower the prices next time.

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