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Do You Really Know Your Farmer's Market?

beth May 17, 2013
Do You Really Know Your FarmerImage by libraryman

Who doesn”t love fresh fruit and vegetables? Especially if they come from your local farmer’s market. It’s an outing with the family, it makes you feel good to buy from hard-working people, and there is a giddiness when you come home with bounty. So, the farmer’s market is the best place to shop for produce, right? Well… let’s chat about that.

Use Your Due Diligence

I live in Dallas which is not a notoriously “green” city. But, it does have a very nice, large farmer’s market. There are two large outdoor sheds and one permanent indoor shed, and many places to buy plants. All that being said, one of the outdoor sheds isn”t really produce that comes from Farmer Bob thirty minutes down the road. Take a deeper look and see that mangoes, bananas, and just about anything can be found. This isn”t because we have an extraordinarily long growing season for tropical fruits, it’s because this particular shed is for produce dealers. Weird, right? However, Shed 2 is for local growers only. Each stand in this shed has a sign saying where they grow or raise animals. Make sure you know which sellers are which!

Farmer’s Markets Don’t Equal Pesticide-Free

Again, you”ve got to know your stuff at the market. One of my first trips to the market I stopped by a rather large stand. The workers are always slicing nbso online casino reviews and offering their fruits…whilst having a cigarette hanging out of their mouths. When I asked the strawberry lady if her berries were pesticide-free, she didn”t come right out and say no, but she did give me dirty look and tell me they are just as good. Don’t get me wrong, I”ve certainly bought their strawberries right nbso online casino now, but I want a straight answer when I asking about my food. Don’t be afraid to (AND YOU SHOULD!) ask the produce sellers about their pesticide maintenance. You may not have access to USDA certified organic, but many farmers do use low spray and natural methods without going through the arduous and costly regulatory way of organic labeling.

Get to Know Your Farmers/Ranchers

It is so easy! They (more than likely) really want to talk to you and tell you about how wonderful their stuff is. And, they will give you advice on how to prepare this cut of meat or that funky looking squash. Also, you may get lucky and find someone with some kind goods that you really want but can’t normally come by, like raw butter. OOOOOOh raw butter and its glory. Many of them accept cash or card to suite your needs, too.

My family loves going to the farmer”s market and it really does make me feel a little better to buy my produce and meats from people who I know I will see every time. Farmer”s markets are not only an opportunity for family time, but a chance for your to direct your hard earned money directly back into your local economy.

What do you buy from your local farmers and ranchers? Have you asked about pesticide methods?

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  1. I am a vendor (non-agricultural) at our farmer’s market just south of you here in Waco, TX, and have heard about this kind of thing. Our market has rules forbidding re-selling and requires that farms that sell (and vendors) are within a certain radius of Waco. Still, cheaters will abound, and recently one of our vendors was asked to leave for violating those rules. So even if a market forbids such practices, it’s a good idea as a consumer to do your homework and think critically about what’s being sold (for example out of season or out of region produce as mentioned here) and do a little research of the vendors/farms you buy from! Thanks for sharing this!

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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