Markets are increasingly offering products that are not locally grown. I
am seeing more and more produce that is the exact same stuff you can
buy at your local grocery store.
I don't offer my products at farmers markets but I do make my rounds to them occasionally and talk to many farmers who sell at them.
The number one complaint I'm hearing is the amount of vendors who buy produce from wholesale houses or produce auctions and then sell it at the market.
In fairness, not all of them are saying it's local but many rely on the fact that people assume it is local or homegrown because they are buying at a farmers market.
If you are buying tomatoes or cantaloupe at a farmers market around these parts in mid May....it ain't local by any stretch of the imagination.
This is a classic case of markets need vendors and vendors need an outlet.
My message isn't these types of products should not be sold at a farmers market. That is up to the folks who run the market. I am all for a free enterprise system.
However, I think full disclosure is a good place to start.
But by far the best way to get what you pay for is still "Buyer beware"
Ask vendors if they grew the product themselves. Sometimes they buy from other farmers which in that case it may be local farm raised product.
But if it came from a wholesale house many times you can get the same conventionally grown stuff at your local supermarket.
Until next time...