View Full Version : farmers' market produce organic?
09-25-2010, 03:54 PM
Some are always promoting local farmers' markets. But how can you be sure that what the farmers sell are organic without chemicals? I am talking about the kind of farmers' markets where there are a bunch of farmers with their various produce.
09-25-2010, 03:57 PM
Here in CA. they have to have a certificate... of course, I don't know how often they are checked and if they spray between checking.. so, whether it's REALLY organic? I dunno.
We have quite a few farmers here who say they don't spray or use pesticides ~ They just don't want to pay what it costs to get that paper. Whether they're telling the truth is anyone's guess imo.
I talk with each vendor. I feel they're being honest with me as most of them say no they are not organic. The ones that are (what I consider organic) say they don't use a *thing* on the plants.
The 1 certified organic vendor does spray, but says the spray is certified organic as well. *Ü*
09-26-2010, 03:40 AM
"No pesticides" or "No spray" does NOT mean organic. That is the standard answer when asked if the produce is organic. Talk around the market here is that the state is considering making changes to the rules. Market vendors won't be able to say they "don't spray" because it is misleading.
I buy from the same organic farm vendors year after year. They have gone to the trouble and expense to be certified organic and for that reason, they deserve my business. If they don't have what I need, then I will buy from another vendor, but only if that vendor can look me in the eye and tell me they grew it, where they grew it, and how they grew it. For the past two years I've been working a tent in the market with a friend that grows greens. She gets asked those questions all day long. Customers want detailed explanations of how she treats the soil and what she does to control insects.
The rules are that market vendors are supposed to be growing what they sell. There is only one market out of the many in this region that enforces this rule. It is the markets dirty little secret that many so-called "farms" are actually buying boxed produce from a broker and have no idea how it is being grown or when it was picked. Some of it is seconds that could not be sold to stores.
Don't be timid about asking questions, and get to know the vendors you buy from on a first name basis. :)
09-26-2010, 09:59 AM
The smaller markets may actually be your best friend. It's easier to learn the vendors and see if they have what you need. Very few small growers have been certified organic, because it is a 5 - 7 year process, if I recall. Talk to them and see if you like their answers. Simple as that.
I see many vendors with truckloads of boxes of produce that are NOT local. I guarantee anyone selling me bananas at a farmers market in MN and ND where we are travelling right now, has NOT GROWN THEM, lol. Ditto, Mangoes, lemons, limes etc.
09-26-2010, 02:02 PM
Thanks to everyone who replied. My thought has been that it is safer and even cheaper to buy certified organics from reliable supermarkets. (I visited one "organic" farm once and their produce was more expensive than Whole Foods.) It seems I have been right.
09-26-2010, 02:09 PM
I have to agree, on most things. The farmers' market that I go to is as expensive as WF
as well, EXCEPT things like zuchinni and other summer squash, winter squash, cukes - stuff that is dense/heavy as they usually sell by the piece rather than by the pound. For instance, yesterday I bought a nicely shaped, LARGE zuchinni for a buck. They were 1.78/ lb in the store. At that rate, I'd have had a ten dollar zuc.
During peak season, tomatoes are also usually cheaper at the FM and basically true of most things, I guess.
09-26-2010, 05:54 PM
My thought has been that it is safer and even cheaper to buy certified organics from reliable supermarkets.
I've rarely found farmers' markets to be more expensive than Whole Foods yet, for me, I'd rather purchase from a local farmer knowing the food is fresher since it's very often picked the day before or even that day. Much of the food at WF's and everywhere else has been trucked in in refrigerated boxes, it all smells the same and the cold sucks the life out of the produce the longer it's on the trucks ... unless WF has purchased locally and frequently.
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