[Market-farming] Imports in our Local stores

Home Grown Kansas! hgkansas at sbcglobal.net
Sun Aug 12 09:27:55 EDT 2007

That is exactly right.  When we first started Market Farming we realized that folks have lost their food skills.  They had little knowledge of what to do with fresh vegetables or herbs.  We had to become educators to sell our products.  I don't see it as unfortunate though, I see it as part of our marketing responsibilities.  A recipe card, weekly newsletter, chef at market or advice at the point of sale are very important elements in educating the customer.  If you make it interesting and many do not, the customers will find it interesting to visit your market.  Actually, the supermarket scenario may be doing us a favor - as perverse as that may sound - by leaving a void for quality food that can be filled by savvy local producers.  It is our responsibility to bring to market the best tasting food available.  It is the "better mouse trap" theroy.  
  Wichita, Kansas  

Bill Shoemaker <wshoemak at inil.com> wrote: 
    Phil, that's my experience too. The people working produce today don't know what quality is and many don't care. It's really changed over the last 30 years. I think consumers share the blame for not being smart shoppers. Unfortunately, I think good growers are left with the challenge of educating the consumer.
      > > > We recently did a little research on what is in our grocery store that we shop and was astounded to the amount of food in general that is shipped in from China.  It will really blow your mind when you start checking to point of origin.  In our local store all the frozen fish was shipped form china, frozen juice private label (store Label) was all shipped in from china, fresh grapes we all from Brazil, and it go's on and on.  We the American farmer are really getting the shaft when the grocer's tell us we as local growers cannot keep their shelves full year around.  It boils down to bottom line and nothing else, if the produce they sell looks like crap it probably is.  I had a produce manager tell me he could get 25 days out of most of his produce, so really fresh stuff doesn't really matter to him, all he wants is a really good price, or maybe I could just give it to him really cheap if I have a lot of surplus, I had one guy actually say that to me. >   > Phil
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William H. Shoemaker
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
St Charles Horticulture Research Center
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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