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Farmer's market prices

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Farmer's market prices

Post  llama momma on 6/9/2014, 4:39 pm

Have you been to your local Farmers Market lately?
I thought it might be fun to talk about your local prices and taste comparison between things purchased from the market and from our back yards. 

I was surprised that amish grown strawberries were $6.00 for one quart.
The asparagus was $4.00 for a bunch. 

I tried both because it supported a local school and I wanted to see how the taste stacked up to mine.  Hands down, mine were better tasting  in both cases.  Cheers for square foot gardening.  Maybe its not fair to compare because we can eat our goodies just minutes from harvest, but still...
 

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  GWN on 6/9/2014, 5:11 pm

Great topic LM
I have in fact opted to become a farmers marketeer.... 
I am going to make my booth mainly for the unique and different heirloom tomatoes

SO I will LOVE to know what the prices people find at the farmers Markets  affraid

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/10/2014, 2:42 am

@llama momma wrote:Maybe its not fair to compare because we can eat our goodies just minutes from harvest, but still...
 

I wouldn't be surprised if that made a significant difference, LM. Lots of things degrade in flavor very quickly when picked.

Re farmers market prices, the prices are generally at yuppie level here. Lots of veggies going for $4.00/pound and up, cheese closing in $20/pound, worms not sold at all except for a dilution of their poop with water, some mushrooms closing in on $30/pound and sometimes more, potted plants sometimes two or three times what you can get them for at a nursery three blocks away.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  johnp on 6/10/2014, 8:48 am

I love going to farmers markets, we have one in one town on Tuesdays and one in another close town on Thursdays. We know a lot of the venders so it's a social event also. I usually buy something and there are some items we buy rather than grow.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  GWN on 6/10/2014, 9:00 am

Interesting Marc
about the worm poop
the person who taught me initially about worms lives in Bandon (not far from you) and he has a big business (or at least used to) making worm casting tea)
He has this apparatus aerating the tea. and sold it in big jugs

HMMM wonder if it is the same guy.
The thing about buying at the market is that you can attempt to achieve the 100 mile diet, decreasing fossil fuel consumption, support local businesses and know you are getting something better

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  landarch on 6/10/2014, 12:55 pm

I work about 3 blocks from a large farmers market (open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings)...I need to walk over tomorrow and check out the prices and post what I find.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/10/2014, 5:22 pm

@GWN wrote:Interesting Marc
about the worm poop
the person who taught me initially about worms lives in Bandon (not far from you) and he has a big business (or at least used to) making worm casting tea)
He has this apparatus aerating the tea. and sold it in big jugs

HMMM wonder if it is the same guy.

It's a lady. There used to be a guy here in the farmers market who did the same thing. I don't think this lady aerates anything, but I can't be sure. I seem to recall seeing her mix the poop and water right on site. What the guy is doing sounds a lot more like compost tea than what this lady does.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  tagyourit on 6/10/2014, 5:38 pm

The prices at our farmers market are really high.    When you look around it is all well off people walking around and it makes me sad that so many people can't afford to eat veggies.     We need to teach more urban gardening and get those prices down.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/10/2014, 6:06 pm

They take food stamps at our farmers market. But I wouldn't spend them there. People hard up for food aren't going to get much at $4.00 a pound.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  Kelejan on 6/10/2014, 6:21 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:They take food stamps at our farmers market.  But I wouldn't spend them there.  People hard up for food aren't going to get much at $4.00 a pound.

Last year our Farmers' Market held on Saturdays gave out $10 family vouchers to the Food Bank and the vouchers had to be spent at the market.  The vouchers were given according to how much money was actually donated by our local residents.

Surprisingly, or not, there was only about a 50% redemption rate. Either the recipients were not spending the money on veggies, or the vendors were not cashing in. Or both. Maybe some people do not know what to do with raw veggies?

Here it is too early for local veggies but next week a regular greengrocer will come for the summer.  He does a really good trade and his prices are reasonable. He does not grow himself but purchases from the Okanagan growers. (The only desert area in Canada). 

If you are on food stamps there is no way you could afford organic.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  66stitches on 6/10/2014, 10:24 pm

I love going to the farmers market but it's steep here too.

I live less than a block from our town square where the market is held. I had a visit from a friend last year who has an organic orchard in BC. Conversations with him and having young children led me to seek out organic produce, and with it so close I was really excited about getting as much as we could from the market and our local butcher, but things started to add up quickly. 

They were fun Saturday morning walks with my husband and 2 year old, but I could easily spend $60 getting local bread and produce, and I could see my husbands lips pursing by the time we got half way through at how much my new idea was costing. Hard to argue with healthier food though, so he never actually said anything.

But I got frustrated. It was clear there was some local produce, but I'm sure a lot of it came from the year-round tomato greenhouses nearby and lots of it was coming from a lot further. Only two stands with organic, and they only carried really obscure stuff I couldn't get my husband to eat. Our grocery store carries Ontario grown produce in the summer at better prices, and I couldn't figure out why I was spending more at the market for what appeared to be the same stuff. 

It is what led me to this forum and my new garden. I found a local organic farm and was going to buy a share, but again I was afraid a lot of it would be veggies I'd have a hard time getting everyone to eat. So I did my best to build my first 4x8 garden for less than that share (almost made it, but vermiculite!  Shocked ).

Anyway, I'm happier giving this a go. I can grow what we like, and supplement a bit from the market. I'm not going to fit a ton in this 4x8 but it's more than I thought! We'll still go up there for asparagus, blueberries, corn and Red Cat Bakery olive bread, but my dream of Saturdays morning walks to pick up all off our veggies and fruit wasn't meant to be.

(Sorry that was pretty wordy!)

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  Kelejan on 6/10/2014, 11:27 pm

You have least made a good start, 66stitiches, and it will get better the more you do it. It will be good for your family, too.   Smile

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  66stitches on 6/10/2014, 11:42 pm

Thanks, Kelejan! 

Yes, it's a good start... I think! I'm going to post some pics tomorrow because I have a few questions about whether things are on the right track since I'm such a newbie. But, I have no doubt it's only a start. I'm already planning where I can put more beds next year!

Coming back to topic (sort of) though, I forgot to mention that my friend suggested seeking out the farms themselves, and I have found this to be a good option in a town surrounded by agriculture. If you're lucky enough to be in the same boat, getting to know these folks is great, often better prices than at the market, and they're more than happy to tell you what was picked that day or that the honeycrisp apples are the best they've ever been. Might be a bit more travel but I've found it to be lots of fun for me and for the kiddos... At least for the stuff you can't fit in your own garden.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/11/2014, 12:46 am

Introducing your kiddos to where their food comes from and how people may live very differently from the way you do sounds very worthwhile.

Money-wise, I couldn't justify doing the same thing because everything is so spread out here that the gas adds up too quickly. But if I had kids, I'd probably do what you're doing, too. Plenty of people in the world never get to see a farm, or an orchard, or a live chicken, or talk to the people who raise them.

Congrats on your new garden! SFG is a great way to start, and to shorten the learning curve by eliminating a lot of troublesome variables, like how to deal with native soil, for one. You'll learn fast, and the people here are very helpful. Don't forget to page back through the forums -- there are tons of great threads from yesteryear that will answer questions and inspire creative thinking and problem-solving. Welcome to the forums!


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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  manda99 on 6/11/2014, 9:33 am

We live a couple houses down from a local (urbanish) Farmers Market that's been going for over 30 years. I buy quite a few seedlings there in early spring. The prices are comparable to nurseries and the big hardware stores, but quality is better and it's right next to my garden. Smile It's usually $1.50 or so for small vegetable seedlings and up to $5 for larger tomato seedlings (foot high or so, in quart buckets). It works out well for me for plants that I only need to grown one of! 

I can't recall the specific food prices right now (I'll check on Saturday!), but it certainly isn't any higher than the very small Whole Foods down the street that's really our only other local option right now. 

I also buy a share in a local CSA. My first box arrives today and it's mostly the same stuff right now that I've already got in my SFG.  Laughing That's okay though - I like supporting local farms and eating yummy veggies! By summer and fall, their boxes will have a lot more variety that I can grow in my limited space.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  Kelejan on 6/11/2014, 11:03 am

manda99, it does not matter if you buy more than you want by using a local CSA as you can always preserve the stuff and use later in the  year.
Although I grow chard, kale and spinach, I like variety, so am happy to buy from our farmers' market in season as it is good value.  I always dehydrate greens that I have not been able to use before they have to go to compost. Still using them even now to add to soups. But I sure appreciate the fresh greens when they arrive.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  landarch on 6/11/2014, 2:06 pm

Went to the local market over lunch and saw that bunches of beets, leeks, carrots, sweet peas were running around $3.  Asparagus $4.  Greens $2.  Herbs $1.  Cabbage $3.  Value depends on the size.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  No_Such_Reality on 6/11/2014, 10:41 pm

Here in Orange County it seems cheaper to go to Whole Foods than the local farmer markets.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/11/2014, 10:52 pm

Once we're talking Whole Foods, I think the concept of inexpensive is pretty much out the window.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  GWN on 6/12/2014, 12:54 am

personally so far I have only sold plants, tomato and pepper plants. I checked the local stores and though they did not have heirlooms I priced just a little less then them.

Once my tomato plants start to produce I will be selling heirloom tomatoes... about 10 varieties.
It will be hard to know how to price, since none of the stores sell heirloom tomatoes
I wonder how people price things that are urique in some way

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  llama momma on 6/12/2014, 5:37 am


GWN
It will be hard to know how to price, since none of the stores sell heirloom tomatoes
I wonder how people price things that are urique in some way
GWN
At my farmers market booth  I went online to find prices for unique items like worm castings and llama beans.  Then took an average minus shipping as a starting point.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  walshevak on 6/12/2014, 9:54 am

Bonnie Plants is offering Heirloom tomatoes.  The little pot is $2.98 -on special 2 for $5.  The 4" pot is about $4.98.  This might give you an idea for the future. The Harris Teeter supermarket near my son offers Heirloom tomatoes, but I can't remember what the price was and there is not one in my town.  Anybody out there near a Harris Teeter?

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  grownsunshine on 6/12/2014, 2:20 pm

@No_Such_Reality wrote:Here in Orange County it seems cheaper to go to Whole Foods than the local farmer markets.
yeah, So Cal farmers markets are expensive!

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  herblover on 6/19/2014, 11:05 am

I buy items I don't grow as well as pick up my eggs and chicken/turkey CSA share.

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Re: Farmer's market prices

Post  manda99 on 6/19/2014, 11:45 am

@Marc Iverson wrote:Once we're talking Whole Foods, I think the concept of inexpensive is pretty much out the window.

My village is very landlocked and expensive anyway. So we have a very tiny WF, that is even more expensive (and limited stock) than most other Whole Foods. Actually, it's not even in our village, it's across the street. Wink And then our one other grocery store went out of business last year. Our walkable distance alternatives are very, very limited right now.

At the farmers market this weekend, it was $4 for a "bunch" of asparagus, $6 for a quart of strawberries, $4 for a pint of cherries.

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