[Market-farming] foreign invasion

Liz Pike liz at laughingbrookfarm.com
Sun May 25 16:11:53 EDT 2003

I spent several hours at a large farmer's market interviewing and taking
pictures yesterday.  (Getting up at 4 am on Saturdays makes me miss selling
at farmer's markets, can't wait to get back.)  After perusing 5 markets over
the past 3 Saturday's I've noticed a trend--at least here.  Asians/Orientals
selling large bouquets of flowers very cheap.  More cheap than any grower
can compete with--these bouquets would run about $30 if local farmer-grown
judging by the number of stems at a low $1/per stem avg.

Supposedly these "grower only" markets, yet these flower-selling set-ups are
all the same...a van, 3 people, white buckets of flowers, card table, wicker
laundry baskets used to hold pre-made bouquets wrapped in white butcher
paper with a $5 or $8 price written in black marker.   They all have a
single long-stem rose in the center of the bouquet (they must have the most
fantastic greenhouses to raise those out of season!) .  Some of the larger
markets had 2-3 of these set-ups per building.  I don't have a problem with
anyone selling anything that's allowed at a market, but to not be a grower,
and undercut real growers just angered me.  I tried to talk with a couple of
sellers, but alas they didn't understand English--or refused to let on that
they did.

Have other sellers come across this??  It's been about 3 years since the
last time I did a major convalescing of farmer's markets, and these set-ups
were not there.

Liz Pike
Laughingbrook Farm
Westfield NC

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