Thursday, April 29, 2010

Food for Thought: Do You Need Farmers for a Farmers Market?
Fair Use Applies

This article appeared in the Wall Street Journal yesterday and it brings up a great point - do you have to be the person who grow the veggies to sell them at a farmer's market?

Most people, I'd suspect, would assume that the person standing behind the table of tomatoes and peppers was the person, or at least part of the family, that grew those items. However, with the explosion of farmer's markets around the country, there is also a growing market for people who buy food wholesale, (from the same people that Krogers and Meijers purchase from) and then resell it at markets. So, is this a deceptive practice? What about all of that fresh bread and canned jams and jellies on the table...were they purchased as well?

This is really a situation of "buyer beware." But think of this in more positive light; this is a way for you as a buyer to get to know the person who is growing your food. Talk to them. You can usually find out with just a simple question of, "Did you grow this," to find out the answer. And if you are talking to the grower, what a great opportunity to find out then what farming methods they use (organic or not). Most farmers are more than willing to talk about their farms and their produce. They are proud of the work that they have put in to bring these items to the market for you.

Each farmer's market is different. Here is our area, there are markets where you MUST be the person producing what is one your table, and others where you don't have to be, you just can't label the items as "home grown". Also, here in Indiana, if you produce jellies, breads, cookies, or other homemade items, they must be sold by the person who made them. However, it doesn't hurt to ask.

1 comment:

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