When I ask this question to people, I get one of two responses; an enthusiastic “Yes!” or a “No” with an undertone that sounds like they are saying “what difference does it make?” So some people get it, now we’ve got to let the “no” group in on what they are missing.
Here in Canandaigua we have a terrific Farmer’s Market: http://canandaiguafarmersmarket.com/ which is run exclusively by the farmers. As some may know, I am a vendor going into my 3rd year there and even enjoy getting up at 6am on Saturday mornings to get there in time! Even though the market officially opens at 8:30am, people are milling about at 7 giving the customers enough time to associate a face to the fresh produce they are taking home. You know, someone that can tell you how long those beautiful radishes have been out of the ground, unlike the produce people at your local food store that may be able to tell you when they arrived in an 18 wheeler. My radishes are out of the ground for about 12 hours when I bring them to market.
Who could possibly benefit from having a farmer’s market in your community? Let me tell you who:
1. The farmers that provide the fresh produce. Selling produce directly to the consumers eliminates the middleman allowing the farmer to make a few dollars more than what the wholesale market pays
2. The customers that visit the market that are concerned enough about what they feed themselves and their family are able to talk directly to the farmers that grow part of their sustenance.
3. The community as a whole for the social benefits for like-minded people and the camaraderie that develops. It also attracts people to Canandaigua’s business district every Saturday morning for nearly half the year.
Honestly, I cannot think of any disadvantages of having a farmers market in our, or any, community. However, I’d be willing to bet that the people that leave their cars parked under the Canandaigua Farmer’s Market pavilion early Saturday mornings that find that their cars have been towed, could give you at least $100 different reasons!