[Market-farming] foreign invasion
mjb at premier1.net
Mon May 26 11:23:20 EDT 2003
As I said before, this was and still is somewhat is an issue here in the
northwest, but since it has been ongoing for almost a decade now,
tensions and misunderstandings have dissapated as each year passes and
the English of the Hmong farmers gets better and they understand our
system. Many flower farmers were forced out, or forced to change as I
was, but like it or not that is the way our system works.
I was critisized by some for being prejudiced when I would not allow for
a bending of the rules, and as with every nationality, there are some
good and some bad. I had to ask some vendors to leave. Some people
still think I am prejudiced, but not the Hmong farmers. I have very good
relations with the Hmong community. It took a concentrated effort to
establish communication with them about the do's and don'ts of selling
at growers' only markets. Most of these people have been here for quite
a while now, and there is someone in the family who speaks and
understands English fluently that can help spread the word. I am no
longer a market manager, just a farmer, but I am recognized as a fair
person and many times Hmong growers have come to me for help in solving
an issue. As long as decisions are made fairly people will abide them.
Managers need to find the leader of the group, once that person is
educated the job is done. What I see happening in our markets now
because of the communication issue is that the Hmong farmers do not
always have the opportunity to speak up for themselves as many of the
more fluent farmers do. This can lead to them being taken advantage of,
both by consumers and other farmers.
Our economy has been hard hit and I know here many of the Asian families
have lost thier jobs. Their only recourse is farming now, so I would
imagine you will see more showing up.
Since so many have lost their jobs the problem we have here is that our
markets are pretty much full and these farmers have no place to sell
their product. There is work being done to alleviate that, but I'm not
sure how much it will help in the short term.
>Don't even go there. I suspected my post might be read as such, but I took
>a chance on posting anyway because the issue greatly affected the farmers
>selling at those markets to the point it has driven out all other cut flower
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