We have numerous farmer's markets in the area, some which are primarily selling local fruits and veggies, others which offer a wonderful variety of produce plus fresh baked goods, coffee, jams/jellies, you name it, even quality baskets hand woven from reeds. Some are only open a few days a week, others every day. I can get lost at the farmer's market and almost forget to come home.
Other. I also don't go very often to the farmer's markets. I think we have one in town, but haven't ever been. Weekends are stay-home days for me whenever possible. I do enjoy the Saturday Market in Twisp when I go visit my sister, very small and supposedly all home-grown or home-produced - although I do have to question the Peruvian jewelry stand... Also one of the last places I know to get a free kitty out of a cardboard box.
This past Saturday was the first Farmers Market this year on my street. A bit late due to poor weather. I missed it as I had to work. They have all kinds of things from Ostrich meat, honey and bee wax products to cookies, veggies, crepes, salmon and goats milk products. My neighbourhood is a city block of restored heritage homes in the centre of downtown Vancouver so being surrounded by highrises creates a rural meets urban market. I like running out to the crepe guys and getting my Saturday morning breakfast and sitting on the porch to eat. The prices are quite a bit higher than most grocery stores but people like the atmosphere with street performers (music), master gardener's desk, community info displays, etc. The only thing I don't like are the generators at 6:30am or they plug into my porch plug and blow the fuse.
I am part of our Farmers Market. Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday here.
Almost anything you would want. All must be grown within 40 miles of the market.
Beef, pork, chicken, eggs, mini doughnuts, many baked goods, homemade soaps, jewelry, other crafts, bedding plants & cut flowers, plus all the vegetables.
Minneapolis has a 2 tier market. One for local produce & one for shipped in things. Shipped in can only be things like oranges & bananas that won't grow here.
Those people pay a huge fee compared to the local growers.
we have a great place to get fresh fruits and veggies in the arkansas valley (colorado). also the flee market every weekend in colorado springs has some great vendors with fruits, veggies, herbs, canned items among other things. we have a farmers market here in town thats more like a discount grocer, its indoors and has everything a grocer has but the produce and some other items including crafts are supplied by local growers etc. we might not have it all in one convenient place, but we sure have it all!!!
We have that annoying problem here, too. The farmer's markets here have vendors selling a variety of produce, some grown locally, some trucked in from other states. Some local farms will have items they grew locally & picked fresh early that morning right beside items trucked in from elsewhere. You have to ask a lot of questions here and choose your vendor's carefully.
In the beginning, I trusted that everything at the farmer's market was locally grown. Then one day in July when it was 100 degrees or better, I noticed that several farmers were selling spinach, and I knew there was no way they could have grown it here in July. When I asked, they admitted that it was not locally grown. Yet other items they had to offer were. I've seen other fruits and vegetables at the farmer's market that I knew could not have been grown here, at least not at that time of year.
I find that very frustrating. If I want produce trucked in from all over the globe, I can get that at the grocery store. I don't drive to a farmer's market for that.
Vendors at our FM must sign an agreement not to sell or re-sell commercial produce of any kind. They also aren't supposed to sell anything not grown locally, or at least locally for them. Most seem to abide by that fairly well. We have more strictly organic vendors who have joined this year, and I'm thrilled with our market. It was voted best of it's size (medium size) statewide last year in only its second year in operation. And the vendors there are just the nicest people. ^_^
Cville, I wish our farmer's markets would implement such an agreement. I might give some thought to whom I can contact to make that request. There are a number of farms in rural areas around Charleston. These farms sell their produce at the farmer's markets. Some will even take special requests either at the farmer's market or by phone - like the time I wanted a bushel of green peas, more than they normally had on hand at the market, so they picked them special very early that morning before setting up at the market.
I just wish they would stop bringing extra items they did not grow. I think once a few vendors started bringing things like spinach in summer, all of the others felt they should follow suit or risk loosing sales. It's as though they think they need to provide everything the grocery store has (in produce) whether they grow it or not. Now maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the produce at the market is not local but trucked in. Some local markets even open for business about the time local farmers are planting the seeds in spring. Thus for the 1st few months virtually everything offered is commercial food trucked in from elsewhere during that period. Many people, especially those who don't garden, may not even realize the food they are buying isn't local. I hate that and find it very disingenuous.
Oh wow, that's a large percentage trucked in for resale. :( I don't blame you for being bummed about that. You are right in that a lot of people don't realize what is local and what isn't. To me, that sort of thing defeats the whole purpose of a Farmers' Market.
Minnesota has a state assn. of Farmers Markets. Only join if want to. I have not figured out what they do. They do not set any policy. They did secure a deal with an insurance company for vendors to buy liability ins. Way cheaper than going on your own to get it.
Also they are supposed to help FM get grants. Very hard when everybody is trying to make a profit. Grants don't go to businesses.
What they should be doing is setting standards for local FM to follow. Things like the local grown & also standards for quality. Some of the stuff they sell at our market is a disgrace.
My son often says "I throw away better things than that." Our market has a clause in the rules to only sell quality produce, but nobody enforces it.
About to leave for small town market now. Hope to sell a bunch of eggs. Also have leaf lettuce, radishes & onions.
I'm OK with the local market (Sunflower Farmer's Market) selling imported commercial food and local food as long as they make it clear what what each item is, and they do. They need a steady income to pay the rent and I appreciate having local, quality produce conveniently available when it is in season. I prefer to shop evenings rather than either a Tues or Sat in the morning.
I don't really consider this a "Farmer's Market" though - the local farmers selling their goods in an open lot during the appropriate season.
There are 'stands' in front of folks homes, and neighbors share, but we don't have a true farmers market until about July when most things start 'coming in'. The Amish/Mennonites come to town to sell their produce and THEN it is awesome. But I am learning how to grow a lot of things we love to eat, and we can and can or freeze and don't need the farmers market like we used to. ...but I LOVE Farmers Markets~~
The farmer's market on the other side of town is HUGE with many vendors selling all kinds of goodies, one of the farms is right down the road from me so I go and get the veggies and fruits directly from them. The peaches are the most amazing peaches I've EVER had.
There's nothing like fresh produce right off the plant! Our farmer's market is rather small. It's mostly veggies--and the same veggies at each vendor's. They are higher priced than grocery stores-or the same price.
We have one vendor that sells baked goods. One that sells honey--it's quite good. Then, there's a vendor that takes orders for beef. It's a weekly meeting on a Thursday afternoon. Sometimes, I forget about the market and miss going.
The vendors also sell produce that was not grown locally, especially tomatoes. They say it is home grown, but they sell them when it's too early to have tomatoes yet. I don't like that. By the time they truck the produce in, it tastes just same as the tomato in the grocery store.
I too, try to grow a lot of my own veggies. Cost of food has risen, and one doesn't know what kind of toxins they used to grow the produce, and then there's the ecoli etc scare.
Plus, nothing tastes as good as produce you painstakingly grew yourself and picked yourself! It's a rewarding experience.
I voted Other. I'm disappointed in our market - they don't even call it a Farmer's Market, it's called a 'Community Market'. There was a booth yesterday with 'Close Out Cosmetics'. Like a flea market, but without all the cool flea market items. It's full of the "re-sellers" and "hawkers" kind of junk. I think I'll complain to my city, and see if they can instate a rule that items have to be home-made or home-grown.