I've gone an entire month since ranting about a local Famer's Market and here I am on my soapbox again. I've been a bit AWOL from the blog this past week because my mom has been in town and we've spent our evenings playing iPhone Scrabble with each other and the blog got shoved to the backburner. Of course, I'm still trying to sort out my bandwidth issues, but that's another story.
So yesterday morning I thought it would be nice to take my mom and the boys to our local - and most popular - Farmer's Market. I wrote a blog entry about this market in July of last year, but since then I've learned a lot more about buying local so my expectations have changed dramatically.
I now expect the produce I buy at the Farmer's Market to be local and thanks to some wonderful comments to my blog entry about this last month, I see most of you do too! This Farmer's Market is in a very ritzy little town and it's such a popular market - you never hear a bad thing about it. It is definitely the biggest and best market around.
Am I missing something here? On first glance it appears great. My mom and I and the boys had a fab time wandering through the stalls, but I grabbed some photos on my phone to show you what I found a bit bizarre.
Look at these prepackaged baby carrots. Aren't these the same ones I can get at the grocery store? I'd rather buy them in the refrigerated section of the grocery store than here sitting out in 95+ degree heat.
I went looking for legitimate carrots and found these.
California carrots. That's a helluva trip from California to Florida. So much for buying local.
Then I found some Pink Lady apples and some Georgia peaches. Clearly they aren't from Florida.
I bought a small box of new potatoes from the busiest vendor in the market (the same place the bagged baby carrots were located). I asked her where the potatoes were grown? I used to be naïve enough to think that a produce vendor was associated with the farm that grew the produce. Now I know better. She said "Um…I think Florida. Maybe not? Their growing season is pretty much over for potatoes, so probably another Southern state."
Well I do like blueberries in my morning oatmeal. I saw these and thought they might taste good.
But they're from New Jersey. Clearly they haven't met the carrots who'll win the "traveled the farthest" award at the vegetable reunion. So I didn't buy them - or even consider them. And the prepackaged plastic box didn't help either. The blueberries I buy at my local grocery store say "Grown in Florida, USA" on the box, so I'll stick with those.
It was hot and we'd just downed some kettle corn and croissants so I treated us all to freshly-squeezed lemonade from another hugely popular vendor who always has a very long line of thirsty patrons. It was delicious, although it was mostly ice. But styrofoam cups? Really? Here we are being green and bringing our own reusable bags and trying to buy local and organic from a Farmer's Market. But we end up with prepackaged food from other states and a styrofoam cup.
Regardless, it was a great morning out with my mom and it is a beautiful Farmer's Market, but when you delve a little deeper, things aren't quite as they seem.