Thursday, April 29, 2010
How To Shop at a Farmer's Market
With the the growing popularity of farmer's markets, commercial growers are trying to cash in by bringing their goods to farmer's markets. This is diluting the quality of products available at farmer's markets, so it is important to know who you are buying from.
- Read certificates/banners displayed by each vendor
- Talk to the manager of the farmer's market
- Have personal contact with the growers
The article was published in Southern California, and I haven't noticed any of these commercial growers at the Palo Alto farmer's market, but be on the lookout for them.
(Also, I have done quite a bit of research on organic foods and recall that some growers actually forgo getting certified by the USDA due to the cost and the process. It is a hassle for some small growers and not worth their time and effort. So it is important to talk to the vendors, because their produce might actually be grown organically even if they don't have the official certification. Another interesting fact is that some growers also don't get certified because they think the guidelines for organic farming are too relaxed and are becoming even more so with time. Here are some responses from growers themselves regarding Local Certified Organic vs. Local Uncertified Organic)