[NAFEX] food prices
Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Thu Jul 5 17:48:10 EDT 2007
I liked hearing your take on this.
We have many certified farmer's markets - produce must be farm-direct, not
resold, for certification. A lot of it is first quality, but not all - it's
pretty obvious; some growers have both their best and seconds clearly
listed, so people have a choice. You said "some markets don't allow this,"
and that's clearly the case here. We have both kinds of markets.
Even when money's particularly tight, I do look for best quality ot best
price. Some people still haven't had farm-or-garden-fresh produce, I think,
and don't know there's a big difference in quality, Other palates just may
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of road's end farm
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2007 4:48 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] food prices
On Jul 6, 2007, at 2:41 AM, Stephen Sadler wrote:
The produce [at farmers' market] is fresh, delicious, varied, and pricey.
to go to the grocery.
Don't go to farmers' markets for cheap. Go for quality.
Those high-priced markets are also usually high-priced for the farmers to go
to, both in market fees and in either driving time or the cost of
living/owning a farm in an expensive area. The amount of time involved in
bringing to market high-quality produce, properly packed so that it will
hold its quality and so that it looks good to the customer, and of varieties
suited to that particular market's customers, picked at the right stage for
that particular market's customers, is also considerable. Most farmers are
still barely scraping by. When we sell at market, we're doing the farmer's
job, the packer's job, the trucker's job, the market researcher's job, and
the produce manager's job. We'd like to be paid for our time.
Most markets do have vendors who are cheaper than others. Many areas do also
have markets that are cheaper than others. Some of the cheap markets are
full of resellers: the produce was bought on sale wherever it was cheapest,
and possibly repacked for the market. Such produce may be less fresh than
the stuff in the grocery. Some markets don't allow this; ask about the
market rules. In those that do, if you want local produce, try asking what
the varieties are, and other information about how the crop was grown. Of
course many people will tell you honestly whether they grew it themselves,
and if not whether it came from a neighbor or from six states away; it's not
their fault if most customers don't bother to ask.
Some people selling cheap may be growing their own. Some of them are new
sellers, or hobby sellers, with no idea what their cost of production is.
Some of them are growing a relatively small number of crops in relatively
large quantities, varieties chosen generally for highest production rather
than highest flavor, machine harvested and packed instead of hand work.
There's nothing wrong with this in itself, and it can give the market
cheaper sources of basic items for those who are primarily looking for a
bargain, and for those who genuinely have very little to spend.
Many people assume their food should be the cheapest possible. Then they pay
large amounts extra for a pair of jeans, because they like the fit, or the
brand name. Shouldn't the quality of what goes in your body be worth as much
as the quality of what goes on your rear?
(Conflict of interest announcement: member Yates County Cooperative Farm &
Craft Market; downtown Penn Yan, NY. No, we're not the Windmill market!)
Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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