Saturday, June 27, 2009

How I Support My Local Food Producers

I was at my local farmer's market this morning. Thankfully it was busy. Hopping with customers and lots of produce booths.

Most of my vegetables I now get from my local CSA (see my post about community supported agriculture) and would love nothing more than for my CSA to have a pickup spot at my local farmer's market -- here's hoping. So, I buy extra, needed veggies (like if I need more lettuce or onions than appear in my CSA weekly box) at the farmer's market and nearly all our fruits. Sometimes we buy freshly baked bread.

There's an organic farmer at my farmer's market who sells seasonal fruit all yearround. I love the guy!!! He is so genuine. I can say I actually know who grows the food my family eats!!!! I bought a BIG bag of seasonal peaches, plums, and nectarines -- ALL ORGANIC. I said nothing would make me happier than if I had a reason to buy him out for the day. Then he said, "I sometimes drive home at night from these farmer's markets and wish someone would stop my truck and say 'I want to buy all your fruit.' But then I wouldn't get to talk to the folks at the markets." A rare moment of sincerity.

I used to get eggs at the farmer's market, but not now. They aren't cage free and aren't organic -- so I go to my local grocer for that.

My farmer's market also has a booth for "catch of the day." It's a local guy selling fish. But I stood there and went through each of his offerings, comparing them to Seafood Watch recommendations -- all of them were on the avoid list. So, even though frustration showed all over his face, I talked to him about how "catch of the day" doesn't mean sustainable. Wild doesn't even mean sustainable. And that he could sell more fish to the enlightened crowd that comes to these farmer's markets if he were to sell fish exclusively on the Seafood Watch Best Choices List and advertise as such. I think he still doesn't get it. So, next week I'm going to take him a seafood watch card and talk to him more about it.

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