gardeningwithe
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Location: Tennessee - 6B

Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

Yes, I think there is more urban gardening than we think, as we see from the many posts on here and if you look around the net there are a lot of people planting a bit. I can't confess to be using my ground (a lot of yard) out here in the country either for the same reason many move to urban areas. I work away a lot in the summer and can only manage so much. A big move I have noticed is people planting veggies in with the flowers which is a great way some people get around HOA or planting things that look good with their other landscaping.

I'm assuming that the farmer's market is a more happening place in warmer weather when more is grown. I think it awesome that you participate in it. What all do you sell?

I too would love it if more incentives were given for solar power. One day, assuming I ever get to retire, I hope to live as much off the grid as possible. I wouldn't mind it now but I don't have the money.

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digitS'
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Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

I wonder what Gary is thinking about this evolving into a "you should be back in Tennessee" sort of thing. Ha! Don't do it Gary . . !

Just kidding! I've never been to Tennessee but I've seen a little of the US. What I really haven't done is ever lived in a big city. I "transitioned" about 25 years ago through an apartment. Other than that I have not lived that way since I was in my 20's. I have no real idea what it would be to live permanently like that. I mean as an adult and especially with children. Or, have a townhouse -- share walls with my neighbors? Wow! I'd want some kind of HOA for that kind of life!

Anyway, I was a farm kid who has lived much of my life in town. It's fun to see that Susan says she is an urban dweller AND a person who sells at a farmer's market!

Something that is happening is that some folks out in the exurbs are realizing that they have "over-shot" their mark. They have way too much land to take care of, than they enjoy. How many people want to spend one day out of every weekend mowing two acres of lawn? Sometimes, it isn't even a lawn. If they try to ignore it, it will just go to weeds! These places become opportunities for the "urban farmer." Really, she or he can live most anywhere but the market is likely to be in the city.

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

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Gary350
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Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

digitS' wrote:I wonder what Gary is thinking about this evolving into a "you should be back in Tennessee" sort of thing. Ha! Don't do it Gary . . !

Just kidding! I've never been to Tennessee but I've seen a little of the US. What I really haven't done is ever lived in a big city. I "transitioned" about 25 years ago through an apartment. Other than that I have not lived that way since I was in my 20's. I have no real idea what it would be to live permanently like that. I mean as an adult and especially with children. Or, have a townhouse -- share walls with my neighbors? Wow! I'd want some kind of HOA for that kind of life!

Anyway, I was a farm kid who has lived much of my life in town. It's fun to see that Susan says she is an urban dweller AND a person who sells at a farmer's market!

Something that is happening is that some folks out in the exurbs are realizing that they have "over-shot" their mark. They have way too much land to take care of, than they enjoy. How many people want to spend one day out of every weekend mowing two acres of lawn? Sometimes, it isn't even a lawn. If they try to ignore it, it will just go to weeds! These places become opportunities for the "urban farmer." Really, she or he can live most anywhere but the market is likely to be in the city.

Steve
If you want to live in an HOA move to AZ. The sooty people that live in them don't want to look at your pickup truck, they don't want to see your TV antenna or your RV so you have to pay $100 a month to keep it in a storage lot where it gets vandalized. I go to HOA meeting just to see what is going on and I am shocked all these people do is complain about their neighbors and want someone else to do something about it. People spy on each other and turn each other in for silly crap like a candy bar rapper on the sidewalk in front of a certain house. One guy said he does not like birds and someone needs to keep the birds out of his yard. Several people said they do not like to hear neighborhood dogs bark. A few complained about cats. I have never seen so many unfriendly people all they care about is their own self importance. We are moving as soon as we can decide where to go. I would love to live in TN again but I just can't deal with being allergy sick 70% of my life, the older I get the sicker I get, the last 4 years were bad. I have NO allergies in AZ it is great to have my life back. TN has lots of State Parks and National parks and the best camping any place I have been.

The posts on this thread are interesting. The one about farm land I like the red dots show where all the farm land is and the lowest land prices and smaller towns. People like to be in the city that is where all the high prices are. I like small towns best population about 20k would be my choice. The way I read the information 99% of our food comes from other countries.

I grow my own food and I buy from the local grocery stores but there are no real farmers markets in AZ. There are so called farmers markets but they should not be called farmers markets. Lots of home craft items, wooden toys, hamburgers, hot dogs, green pasta, organic cleaner, candy, jewelry, paintings, but no vegetables. All the farmers markets I have been to in other States all have vegetables.


Food City specials this week. I think these are great price I have never seen prices like this in TN. Double click photos get larger.

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Last edited by Gary350 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:59 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

Jeez.... you make stuff up. Yes a lot of our food comes from other countries, but nothing like 99%, not even the majority.


A lot of the food we eat is imported—15 percent of the U.S. food supply, including nearly 50 percent of fresh fruit and 20 percent of fresh vegetables.
https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/Consume ... 362462.htm


Roughly 20% of our food is imported by volume. Couldn't find any info on foods not imported, but fom the data i saw we import at least some from every broad category as defined by the USDA
Source:
https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/us...


And you can influence how much of your personal food supply is imported, by growing your own and buying locally grown from farmers' markets and CSAs. By definition, if more of us did that, the percent of US food imported would start going down.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

Check the CSA finder at localharvest.org. You can tell it your city/zip code and it will locate CSA farms near you. It looks like there are a lot:

https://www.localharvest.org/search.jsp? ... 07514&ty=6
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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ReptileAddiction
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Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

You could live "off the grid" in California, but it is one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. We don't mind though because it is gorgeous year round here. Most people don't realize this, but most of California is rural. If you go anywhere on the coast it is big cities but as soon as you go inland there is rural. I am just up the street from a large vineyard and if you go down a little farther there are big fields that grow vegetables, sunflowers, and all sorts of fruit. The bulk of the fruit grown by me is citrus though there are a few peach and apple orchards.

I agree that more people should support locally grown food. In my area there is a good farmers market 2x a week and a csa type thing where there are about 50 different farmers and every week you get a box of vegetable delivered. You can also get milk, cheeses, meats, and other locally and sustainably produced food but those items are fairly pricey.

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Gary350
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Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

I agree we should buy from the local growers but how do we know who they are. Where I live now AZ the local growers do not sell directly to the public and they are 15 to 65 miles from me. Even if I could buy directly from them I would not drive 130 round trip, 3 hours of my time, a burn $20 worth of gas to buy produce. There are no REAL farmers markets in AZ so the best I can do is buy what is available at the grocery store when it is ON SALE.

The TN farmers markets could not be trusted many of the sellers would buy produce from the local distributors then sell it like it was home grown. They were selling the same produce the grocery stores were selling for double the price.

The only place I have ever lived where the farmers markets could be trusted was IL. Even when I return there now to visit relatives the farmers markets still have real home grow produce at a reasonable price. Many of the farmers sell eggs and milk from home if prices are not competitive with the grocery stores and other markets they sell nothing.

I think your geographical location makes a big difference it what farmers markets are like. When I go on vacation it is always fun to visit the farmers markets. I wish more farmers markets had eggs, cheese, milk, cream, butter, seeds, plants, bread, baked items. I visited a farmers in Maine where a woman was selling 400 home made donuts every Saturday morning $1 each we bought 4. A guy was selling pesto, fresh herbs, and home made cheese that was a great snack at the motel. One TN family sold Jersey and Golden Guernsey milk I bought 1 gallon each week.

I think each State should have deceptive practice laws to make it illegal to buy produce from distributers then resell it as home grown at farmers markets.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

Did you check out the link I posted re CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)? It looked like there are quite a few in the Phoenix area. I have been a member of two different CSA's now and I love them. The idea is that it is a farm which members join and pay a fee and in return they get a share of everything the farm produces, each week all through the growing season. Both the CSA's I have been part of, members help pay for their produce with some work hours at the farm as well as the money fee. So you know exactly where your veggies are coming from because you have been at the farm and probably even helped plant/tend/ harvest them. Work hours tend to be like 15 - 20 through the whole season and most places have option to pay more and not do the work hours, but I really like being part of growing my own veggies and seeing how the farm runs.

In my experience, the fees are very reasonable. It is paid up front, so the farm has money to operate. But spread over the season it is way cheaper than farmer's market. The farmer(s) then don't have to spend time sitting at a market trying to sell their stuff, they have a guaranteed market. Some places have delivery or at least a delivery point in the city, some places you have to go there to pick up your produce.

Check it out.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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digitS'
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Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

Some markets have those rules, Gary.

California has "certified" farmers' markets with those rules. Other state fm associations allow both grower-only and markets with resellers.

I agree with you. Why offer the customer exactly what they can find at any store? Why make the growers compete with a guy who may not even be buying the produce? He may just be carrying it down and returning what he didn't sell to the produce company after the market, paying for what he sold.

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

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Meatburner
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Location: SW MO zone 6b

Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

We are very lucky here as the CSA's operated just as Rainbow described. Our farmers markets are required to disclose and verify their produce is local. If it is not local, they have to have a sign disclosing that. We also have some farmers that offer for the public to pick their own at their farm for a fee. Pretty cool.

sepeters
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Location: AZ, zone 9

Re: Where do all the vegetables come from?

Gary, as someone who lives in the valley I totally get what you're saying about the HOAs! They have the run of the place and it's something that's probably unfathomable to people in other states, but they are very strict and make you feel like it isn't even your property. Living in a condo, I am glad to have one. When I had a house it made me regret buying it. Just too many things we were not allowed to do. Homes in the older neighborhoods in central Phx, Tempe, Deer Valley, etc. do not have HOA's and big yards.

But, I digress.
I happen to work in a grocery store and can answer you're original question. :) Most of our produce does in fact come from Mexico. Something like 60%. Some of it is imported from Central American countries and a good amount from CA. About 30% of the produce my division carries is locally grown. We save a great deal of money on shipping costs and can get riper, fresher produce by buying locally and there are more and more large scale green house operations opening in the state, so you can expect to see more and more produce from AZ at the grocery store. It depends on the store you shop at, really. I suspect that most, if not all the produce at Food City comes from Mexico. It is a low-end division of Basha's and they make money from buying things in enormous quantity at bargain basement prices and probably could not afford to sign the types of contracts more competitive companies sign with American farmers. Farmer's are union people after all. It'll be cheaper to buy local once more of the factory farm green houses open.

There are very tough agricultural laws in AZ and the only other state we import or export produce from/to is CA. So, there's probably a lot less American produce here than other places. All produce is currently required to have a country of origin label on the sticker or somewhere on the packing, though it is usually very small. So if you really wanted to you could be diligent and buy only local produce.

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