Farmer's Market

United States
July 13, 2012 10:40pm CST
Today my daughter and I went to the local Farmer's Market here. It was nice that I was able to spend my food stamps and my daughter could buy stuff with WIC vouchers but, really, the prices were unreal! Mind you, I always thought that locally grown foodstuffs sold at the Farmer's Market should be less expensive than that we get in the large grocery stores. After all, they have very little overhead. But nooooo. I got a single pound of granola for $6. A pound of cherries was $4. A head of Romaine lettuce ran me $2.75 and, since they didn't give change, I ended up spending $3 per head. Mind you, the produce is beautiful...far superior to that in the store...but, really, can I afford this? Is it like this at your Farmer's Market? Am I mistaken to think that the prices should be lower?
3 people like this
7 responses
@ElicBxn (60762)
• United States
17 Jul 12
generally speaking, these guys are doing this organically and trying to support themselves without the "factory" farming techniques, so I guess that probably is why they are more expensive - but think about it, they aren't going to have all those other chemicals and you are buying local
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jul 12
Yeah, maybe. I've seen farmers markets where they didn't charge so much, though. I think it's all a matter of the individual farmer.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60762)
• United States
17 Jul 12
that is probably so... I know at the little market I've gone to for Maggiepie even the various vendors have different prices, but really not too off from each other...
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jul 12
Well, when the farmers markets first started, it was a central place for the farmers who had roadside stands to gather and take advantage of a larger, more convenient customer base. Now, I remember the roadside stands and they always had the best prices for produce. But once they gathered together into a central location and no longer had to worry about accosting passers-by with low prices, that's when the prices rose.
1 person likes this
@RitterSport (2452)
• Lippstadt, Germany
16 Jul 12
hi dear alaskanray our Farmers Market here is lousy and overpriced as well so I avoid that. But in my old hometown the Farmers Market was great. It was a bit more expensive than when you buy in the local supermarket but the quality was worth every cent spent and I usually bought my veggies and fruits there on Saturday mornings.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jul 12
Well, according to the internet, farmers markets are supposed to be less expensive because they cut out the middle man and there's not really that much overhead. Most farmers' markets don't charge for the booth space so all the farmers have to do is haul their stuff and set up their booth. I guess they figure it's a time to make the bucks, though, so they charge more because they can.
• Lippstadt, Germany
16 Jul 12
they are charging here all the time, so thats the reason why their fruits and veggies are more expensive than in the supermarket.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jul 12
Really? The one in John Day didn't and neither did the one in Idaho I was looking into working. I think it all depends on where you are.
• United States
14 Jul 12
I found that those who take government anything are higher then those that do not. I can use my WIC checks at some nice markets but the money goes no where near as far as at the street market. We have many Amish in our area so we can get some really nice produce and goods all organic with no chemicals or pesticides at good prices.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jul 12
Yes, I noticed one booth at ours was run by some Mennonites and the breads and pies there looked wonderful but it was all just a little too high for me. I think because I wanted everything I saw! lol
• United States
15 Jul 12
Yes shopping on a budget makes everything seem more expensive!
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jul 12
I am officially wishing I had bought the rhubarb pie now but it was something like $12 and I only had $20 to spend.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
7 Aug 12
We don't have a farmers' market here in Puerto Rico. The Romaine lettuce here is about 2.00 a head in the stores. Granola is expensive anywhere and everywhere. The Cherries in the store are I believe about the same that you paid. I think the prices are going up everywhere no matter what the product is. Thankfully we have a garden that gives us alot of stuff that is all organic and its free. We have so much stuff growing in our yard such as bananas, avocados,grandules beans, tomatoes, breadfruit, starfruit, hot peppers, and plaintans. We just finished having mangos for about three months which are delicious. We also have lemon, grapefruit and orange trees that are growing but have not produced as of yet. You would think things would be cheaper at a farmers market but everyone is trying to make more money due the the economic problems in the world. I thank God everyday for all that we have and we share our produce with family, friends and neighbors.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Aug 12
Yeah, I grow what I can. My daughter has harvested two plantings of radishes this year but I'm still waiting for my garlic to ripen. My strawberries are not producing and my rhubarb is looking really pathetic. I also planted a watermelon this year and it's just starting to get blossoms on it. Here's hoping I'll be able to enjoy the fruits of my labors eventually. Sad to say our climate is not as good as yours for growing a lot of stuff. Still, I grow what I can.
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@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
9 Aug 12
That is great that you grow what you can. There are alot of people here in Puerto Rico who should grow but they don't. Especially the younger generation they are just to lazy. Its alot of work but its so worth it when you have fresh organic fruits and veggies in your home. I forgot about radishes and need to add that to my garden. Thanks for your response and reminding me of them.
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• United States
10 Aug 12
My pleasure. I should be getting my saffron bulbs any day now. I can hardly wait to put them in...and harvest some saffron. This is like the fourth or fifth time I'll be planting them. So far I have yet to enjoy the fruits of my labors with the saffron. I've moved every time it was about to produce...and the one time I did harvest some, I sent it to a friend of mine as a gift. Bummer. Oh, well. This fall I should have some saffron to use in my cooking.
@oldchem1 (8144)
14 Jul 12
I know that prices are higher in Farmer's Markets generally however the world of farming has changed completely; the economic climate globally has brought financial downfall to many of our smaller farms; here in the UK our dairy farmers are being forced by the big supermarket groups to sell their milk for less than it actually costs to produce it, and egg and poultry farmers are given a trifle for their eggs and birds. And in the USA a report has shown that around 22% of farmer’s crops would be wasted if it wasn’t for the presence of these farmer’s markets. Because much of the farmer's crops have to be discarded because they doesn’t fit the big supermarkets’ requirements, or because the supermarket suddenly changes its order. I think that most customers realise that better food is worth paying more for. The goods that you buy at farmer's markets are far superior, and organic or rare produce are certainly worth paying more for. Although the majority of customers who shop at farmer’s markets expect slightly higher prices than the supermarket they still expect value for money
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jul 12
I'm sure you are right. It's a sad state of affairs that we have in our economy. The produce I saw at the Farmers Market was, indeed, far superior to any I've seen in any store. I could not believe how beautiful the onions were and the bell peppers I bought were the best looking ones I've seen in ages! The Farmers Market here is a bit different from the one in John Day. It had a lot more to offer and the prices were a tad higher but the produce was beautiful. I bought a pound of cherries and ate the whole thing as soon as I got home.Yummm!
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
19 Jul 12
Oldchem said just what I wanted to say but explained it much better than I would of. Yes, the farmer's market is always a bit higher. And when you think about it, they do have overhead. It is a lot of work growing those veges, running the machines, paying for the land and the taxes on the land, some hire help...it's just a different kind of overhead. And their only reimbursement is their sales. Their losses are also probably significant. Also, most of them do pay rent for their displays at these markets.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jul 12
I'm not saying they don't have overhead, but it is considerably less than the supermarkets. The supermarket have to markup from the price they pay the wholesalers who in turn mark up from what they pay the farmers. Farmers markets theoretically then should be less expensive because we cut out the middle man. The food is coming straight from the farmers, not going through three markups in the process, yet the farmers are charging high enough prices to account for four markups/middlemen in the process. That does not seem right to me.
• United States
14 Jul 12
I haven't a clue as to what the supermarkets around here charge for the stuff that's been sprayed with poisons and shipped in from elsewhere. All I know is that what I spend for my CSA share and at the farmers' markets is what I consider to be reasonable for good, healthy, local food. You may want to see if any of the farms in your area that offer CSA shares accept SNAP or have a special price for those who are on SNAP, have a sliding scale and/or offer work shares. While there is an effort to make good food more accessible to all, SNAP is still only accepted at a small percentage of farms and CSAs across the U.S. I know that it is not currently accepted at the farmers' market that I go to most often.
• United States
14 Jul 12
Yes, SNAP is accepted at our local Farmer's Market, which is nice. After we got home my daughter and I were both thinking we wished we had gotten more. There was a Mennonite family there with baked goods and some of their breads looked absolutely heavenly! I think next time we will be better prepared. It was really hot and I didn't have my wheelchair with me so our time at the market was limited. Next time we'll take my wheelchair and get into some serious shopping!
• United States
14 Jul 12
Sorry to be ignorant but what exactly is CSA? Also, WIC gave my daughter $20 worth of vouchers for the Farmer's Market which helped. Of course, that's all she gets for the entire season but every little bit helps.
@cher913 (25893)
• Canada
14 Jul 12
well, i always find that farmers markets are a little pricier maybe because they factor in their time used to pick and whatnot. of course, where i live, this year the prices will be crazy high because of the drought we are currently experiencing. i find grocery stores are cheaper. even though the food isn't local, i still buy there. i am not entirely sure that i can actually afford to buy local this year.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jul 12
Well, I think it's worth it to buy local as much as I can. I found a huge zucchini yesterday for just a buck which is a good price, I think. I mean, this thing was huge! I am a very frugal shopper, too, so I look for what I perceive to be a bargain...yet, I walked away from the market with quite a bundle of food. The other thing I think that I have to consider is that farmers markets are only available seasonally so I plan to factor that in when budgeting for what I can spend at them.