Locally grown?

Summer is supposed to be a time to slow down, sip a sweet tea and watch the kids play in the sprinklers – and maybe even join them as the mercury consistently hovers right around 92 degrees. So, do that. The laundry will wait (trust me, I tried playing chicken and it wins every time).The bills will wait (unless it’s the water bill, they don’t mess around in these parts). But your kids won’t.

As the girls get older, it’s harder to do even simple things as a family. Grocery shopping with everyone in tow is the same stuff nightmares are made of. A trip to the post office requires approximately 15 pounds worth of fruit snacks and sippy cups. But we always try to make it to the farmer’s market together, even if it means each of us yelling, crying and demanding a snack at some point along the journey. If we all pout simultaneously, can we consider it an organized family activity? I think so.

Even with the tantrums, we got some incredible goods at today’s market.

The loot.

That would be:

  • Two dozen, free-range, organic-fed eggs
  • One bunch kale
  • slicer tomatoes
  • green peppers
  • Vidalia onions
  • Sicilian eggplant (the zebra-patterned ones)
  • yellow cornmeal
  • canary melon (more on that later)
  • zephyr squash (the yellow/green ones which are similar to crookneck, but sweeter)
  • sweet peppers
Ah, let’s take a closer look at these sweet peppers:
Aren’t they lovely? I have two purposes in mind for these beuts. If all goes accordingly, I’ll post about them later this week.
Although there are lots of produce vendors at this farmer’s market, I tend to stick with just a few favorites. I see them week after week, I talk to them and they are always knowledgeable and honest when I ask questions. I find myself buying from Walker Farms, Bethesda Farms and Harvest Lake Farms most frequently.
I’ve heard a lot of chatter recently about farms, both crop and animal, passing off outside goods as their own. As in, selling produce, meats and the like that they did not grow or raise themselves to consumers at farmer’s markets. This makes me so, so sad. People shop at farmer’s markets because they are trying to do better for themselves, their families and communities by buying local, fresh and organic. Upstanding farmers should be looking to provide that, without any conditions.
For vendors (I can’t consider them farmers since they aren’t selling what they produce) to manipulate these trusting folks is disturbing. I’m curious if they would tell a consumer, honestly, where their items are coming from if asked. I hope they would at the very least be truthful. But I find it incredibly sad that shoppers have to ask these questions at all. Yet it’s the age we live in, I suppose. For all I know, they could be buying boxes of Central America-grown oranges at Wal-Mart before heading to Forsyth each Saturday. I love everything a farmer’s market brings to a city and I hate that people cheapen it in the interest of making a dollar.
It burns me, if you can’t tell.
On an entirely different, more pleasant note – look at what bloomed in my front yard this week:

The stargazer lily I amazingly haven’t killed despite years of neglect.

And, I finally decided and ordered my new diaper bag! Thank you, dear readers (all twelve of you) for your input. I’m really excited for it to arrive so that B will stop pointing to our current diaper bag and screaming “NACK!!!” (snack) repeatedly. The new bag should throw her off and I’ll eek out a few days of silence while she continues to ransack the Vera Bradley bag for leftover raisins.  That kid is like a vulture on roadkill, I swear.

Do you think it’s ethical for vendors to sell produce/food goods that they didn’t grow/raise? Do you think they should have to disclose this information to shoppers?

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2 thoughts on “Locally grown?

  1. First of all, I’ve really enjoyed your blog, since finding it. Secondly, your yummies look amazing! I’m thrilled to see that we are growing it all (except for the corn meal, but soon:). Finally, resellers have always been a source of contention amongst farmers at the market. not only resellers, but conventional growers also. unfortunately, MANY consumers/shoppers at the farmer’s markets also assume that just because the produce is at the open air market then, the produce is grown organically, without chemicals or synthetic fertilizers and the fact is that it’s not always grown locally or naturally and it has just as much junk on it as the stuff in the grocery store. YIKES! so, in my opinion, the information should be disclosed, the farmers should be honest and the buyers should be aware. thanks for the enlightenment! now, as far as ethical, i think the rule is 60% or something, so the vendor has to produce at least 60% of what they sell, but i could be mistaken. as long as the market allows it then, the resellers are obeying the rules and it is in fact ethical. it’s wise to know your farmer and the farm. Peace!

    • Hey Melissa! Thanks for the info, I have never heard of the 60% thing (like that should be surprising ;)). I’m going to check with the market and see what their policy is. One of the great things about Urbanna is your members never need to worry about this stuff!

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