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Gary350
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FAKE farmers markets in Tennessee.

Does anyone here sell vegatables at the farmers market?

I am very dissappointed in both of the farmers markets we have here in Tennessee. 90% of the sellers buy produce from the local produce company and resell it at a higher price that the grocery stores. I am looking for REAL HOME GROWN VEGATABLES not the same vegatables that are sold in the grocery stores.

There seems to be no law or rules against buying and reselling at the farmers markets. It is very dissapointing to buy a tomato only to find it is not home grown.

I think there needs to be a special cetificate or sign or T shirt or something available only to sellers that sell REAL HOME GROWN VEGATABLES so buyers know who is selling the real thing.

I ask people, Did you grow these vegatables?
Answer. They were grown on a farm.
Question. What farm?
Answer. Don't know.
Question. Did you buy these vegatable from Palmer Foods?
Answer. Yes.
Reply. I am not interested in over priced grocery store vegatables.

My plants in TN are not doing well I have not been here to take care of them. I am returning to AZ in a couple more weeks. I sure would love to have a real home grown tomato. All is not lost I have 70 pints and 8 quarts of home grown tomatos in Mason Jars and 54 pints of green beans. I should have melons, squash, tomatoes, garlic, coming up when I return to AZ.

DoubleDogFarm
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Any vendor that tried to pull this off at our Farmer's Market would be tarred and feathered. We have excellent market managers and most of the vendors are a pretty close bunch. We have by-laws, county and state regs.

Eric

gumbo2176
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My experience is that the Farmer's Markets in our area are selling produce grown locally, much of it by the very same vendors. We're also lucky to have fresh seafood offered at a reduced price since they are selling direct to the public. Shrimp that cost upwards of $6 a lb. in the supermarkets and seafood stores is selling for around $3.50-$4 a lb. straight from the fishermen.

There are also several roadside vendors that sell fresh produce, but their product is a mix of stuff bought from a wholesale distributor and local growers. Fortunately, their prices are considerably lower than the supermarkets since they have less overhead.

Dillbert
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around here - bordering Amish country - such practices at "Markets" (by various names) are pretty dang common.

walk around the back and about all you find is corrugated boxes that came out of the south Philadelphia produce center. well, except for the people in fake Amish dress smoking, rooting through their purse for their makeup or putting away their bling jewelery....

right local, not counting egg producers,,, there's about 5-6 local farm stand purveyors of stuff they grow - and sometimes "early stuff" trucked up from their Mennonite brethren in more southern regions - which is always clearly labeled - GA this or NC that - and their stuff labeled "home grown"

also a couple local 'front yard stands' with the veggie patch out back/side.
availability can be spotty, and not a lot of range, but always real.

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gixxerific
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That sucks to hear.

My friend owns a marke, it's just him and his wife that sell produce on the side of the road. He does grow a lot and buy localy. But somethings you just have to buy things that wont' grow here well or just thing you don't have room for. But evrything grown localy is marked and there is a diclaimer up front telling "if it doesn't say local it's not local"

He is also cheaper than the big grocery stores near by. I sell/trade my veggies with him. I have been telling him to raise his price since it's way lower than the big guys' and better for the most part. He won't have it though.

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jal_ut
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Does anyone here sell vegatables at the farmers market?
Yes, I sell at a local farmers' market. The market has pretty strict rules about selling anything that wasn't grown in your own fields. The sellers really are the farmers.

Here is a shot of my table this morning. I joined this market mainly to market my honey, but sell a few veggies to make gas money. Today I had 7 varieties of squash, 4 varieties of cukes, pumpkins, watermelon, and some assorted other goodies.



[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/table%209_15.jpg[/img]
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DoubleDogFarm
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:arrow:
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jal_ut
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moving
Last edited by jal_ut on Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PunkRotten
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Awhile back they used to be generous with their portions. Now they are asking more than the stores. I had a similar experience as you did Gary. I asked some guy about his garlic and asked if it was softneck or hardneck cause I was interested in planting a few bulbs. He didn't know. I asked what the name of the garlic is, he didn't know. I thought it was funny that he had no clue what he was growing.

DoubleDogFarm
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Lead the way. :)

Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jal_ut
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OK, those who would like to talk about honey visit the other thread.

Back on topic.
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!potatoes!
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we have two kinds of 'farmers markets' here. the tailgate markets (there are about 6 in town, on various days) are closely watched, and have rules about sellers only being able to sell stuff they produce (produce, meats, and made things like breads, cheeses, etc - with special allowances made for the guy who comes from the coast [5.5 hours away] with fresh fish/seafood that I'm pretty sure he doesn't actually catch); and also the big permanent 'WNC farmers market' which is almost entirely resale of stuff other people grow.

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lorax
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I live 5 blocks from one of the world's largest farmers' markets. The place is about 10 square blocks of area, and there are segregated areas for the resellers of imported fruit/veg - outside of those areas, the other vendors would tar and feather anybody trying to pass off purchased produce as their own. The only exception in the main fray are single-piece sellers of some import fruits, like peaches and apples - they're clearly marked by their printed cardboard cases (domestic cases are made of balsa wood) and as they're clearly identifiable as resellers, consumers can make an educated choice.

I'm lucky, though - that market is the place where most resellers of domestic produce will buy their fruits and veg for resale (countrywide), so I don't encounter them so much except when I get into bidding wars with them over things like a nice sack of cucumbers. And generally, when it's a little old lady selling a very limited variety of things (say, limes, cabbage, and carrots) I'm nearly 100% sure it's what was ready for harvest in her garden that week.

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Gary350
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I love the farmers market and I love the things that really are home grown. One market we have in town is a lot better about having farmers that sell things they grow. Some of these folks price their items much higher than the grocery store. I am not sure the home grown food makes it worth the extra cost it just depends on what it is. Being retired now and living on a monthly SS check I buy things on sale, clip coupons, ask for senior discounts, shop at the thrift store and Goodwill, grow my own vegatables, ride my bicycle to save gas, keep the house AC set on 78, use the clothes line instead of the electric dryer, I put a timer on the hot water heater so it is on only 4 hours a day when we actually need hot water.

Some folks at the farmers market tried to sell milk for $8 per gallon. I bought one mostly because I grew up on a farm in Illinois and remember milking the cows and remember how good the milk was. But it is not worth $8 a gallon when I can buy it for $4 at the store. Some folks were selling a dozen eggs for $1.50 more than the grocery store. Several folks selling things higher than the grocery store. I know people want to make money but I need to save money I can not afford those prices. It makes me mad to pay 30% more than the grocery store for the same tomatoes the grocery store is selling. I hope to have home grown tomatoes in Arizona about November. It is going to be strange having a garden in the winter instead of the summer.

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jal_ut
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I sell for less than grocery store prices. Most of the vendors at our market do. I would rather take less for the fresh veggies than take them home and wonder what to do with it. This is a good deal for the buyers as they get fresh local, great tasting produce at a good price.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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I actually joined 3 farmers' markets. One in my home town is a very small market. It started out 3 years ago with about 10 vendors and has dwindled to 3 vendors. It just didn't catch on. I am not going to do that one next year. In fact I think it slips from existence.

The next one was in a town down the road 4 miles. A larger town and the market in a good visible public location on a fairly busy street. The towns people would not support it. It too seems to be dying. I quit going to it because I couldn't sell enough to buy the gas to go.

The best one is in a city about ten miles from home. Now that has been a good market. Outdoors in a city park with around 100 vendors selling all kinds of crafts, food and produce. There will be hundreds of shoppers. A steady stream of people past my table for the 4 hours it lasts. I am one of three honey vendors, so do well there selling honey. I move a lot of my garden excess there too. I sell produce even if I don't have honey to establish my presence. I have seen that you get a lot of repeat customers from week to week. Even had one say, "This is my favorite table." Next season that is the only market I will go to.

Like I said though, close supervision by the market manager, and city and state regulations exist. I had to get special permits to bottle honey for market, and have my label approved.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DoubleDogFarm
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Gary,

Making money is a interesting argument. Like James has mentioned, "It's a social event".

Even selling eggs, in my case duck, at $7.00 per dozen, I question if I make any money. Organic Canadian feed is about $20.00 per 44lb bag. With 26 ducks, that take 6 months before the first egg, consume 1 1/2 bags per week. If it wasn't for the manure fertilizer and weed and bug control, I wouldn't be in the market at all.

Eric

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digitS'
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:. . . We have by-laws, county and state regs.

Eric
Eric, you may be talking about local market by-laws and the regulations may be governmental.

I was a little bit embroiled in the produce re-selling issue with the WA State Farmers' Mkt Assoc in the late 90's. Yes, I've been selling at markets that long.

What was successfully argued at that time was that the term "farmers' market" could still be used for an outfit that permitted produce reselling if the market management deemed the produce that was resold was in short-supply. I was on the losing side of the argument.

It sounds reasonable but keep in mind that a market, like Pike Place Public Market in Seattle, can have any number of produce brokers no matter what. No one was asking the WSFMA to even consider kicking them out. But, putting all the decision making power in the hands of the farmers' market manager would mean that even something as common as potatoes could be coming in by the truckload and still be deemed "in short supply" and free game for reselling.

It is all up to the market folks but like Gary & others, I don't think the public is well served by being offered the "same vegatables that are sold in the grocery stores" and being misled about it, to boot!

The result of those little skirmishes of the 90's was a small market run by its growers. Now, take it from me, those people have other things to do than try to administer a farmers' market in their spare time. What the NEW farmers' market board did was to set everything up as best they could by late winter and make zero decisions thru the marketing season. They wouldn't even hold regular meetings until after marketing had ended.

It is really too much to ask of the growers of the produce to do the management. They are even sales competitors, after all. And, they are in it for the sales. It is expensive to grow an abundance of produce and truck it around.

Fortunately, there are enlightened town folks in some locations who insist that their market is going to cast its lot with the growers of produce and not with some guys who pick up truckloads of produce on their way to a "farmers' market" and return what they didn't sell to the produce company at the end of the sales day. That brokering can break the backs of the growers and the market, as well! And it's Boloney!

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

DoubleDogFarm
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Steve,
Eric, you may be talking about local market by-laws and the regulations may be governmental
Yes, Local market by-laws. When it comes to value added products, than the State and some county rules apply.

We have a Farmers Market association. The board members are farmers and maybe a local official. We usually have a membership and interested party meetings about three times a year. We vote on renewing and adding new rules. They collect membership dues and signatures. New this year. We pay 3% of gross sales to the organisation.

Eric

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