A Disappointing "Farmers' Market"

I love spagetty squash. Likewise spaghetti squash.

I’ve given our local farmers’ market three tries now. And it’s three strikes.

When I think of a “farmers’ market”, I think of fresh, local foods. Produce, meats, dairy. And I know there are tons of these things around; the grocery stores frequently carry local fruits, and there are cattle grazing on pasture not five minutes from my apartment in pretty much any direction.

Maybe my expectations were too high. I expected, since the sign said “Farmers’ Market”, that there would be more than one actual farmer represented. Unfortunately, there wasn’t even one. This wasn’t even a farmer’s market.

Instead, at least half of the booths were taken up by crafters and artists. There were five booths selling jewelry, although a couple of them appeared to be selling pre-made, mass-produced stuff. One booth had quilts. One booth had windchimes and other decorative clutter. One guy was selling genuine New England maple syrup, which I guess might have been farmed by a farmer at some point, but this guy wasn’t the farmer.

Then there was the produce tent. They had all kinds of fruits and vegetables, but nothing was labeled as local. In fact, almost everything was stickered and bagged as it would be in the grocery stores. Sealed plastic bags of baby carrots, apples with Washington stickers, even the celery in the Green Giant bags (Seattle, you’d be weirded out, as we still are — the celery is branded and always, always sold in plastic bags here).

And instead of looking fresh and vibrant, a goodly amount of the produce looked like it was gathered by dumpster diving behind the supermarkets. Black strawberries, moldy kiwi. And almost everything slightly higher-priced than the exact same stuff at the grocery store down the block.

I envy those of you who can go to your local farmers’ market and get grass-fed beef. Or raw milk and cheese. Or even fruits and vegetables with a little fresh dirt on them, instead of stickers. Maybe there’s another market around here where I can find all of those things, but it’s certainly not the one near me.

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  1. Don’t waste your time at the Winter Park Farmers Market either. It was just like the one at Hunter’s Creek, except maybe a little bigger. There was some guy cutting up a Dole pineapple and giving out samples. “Go ahead and try it!” he told me. But, um, I’ve already had Dole pineapples. So, no thanks.
    I totally agree with you, I really don’t understand how these things are even called “Farmers’ Market”. Clearly the term means something different in the east (or maybe just the south? I don’t know) than it does in the west.

  2. Which ones have you tried? I am interested in finding one too, and am planning on trying the one in Downtown Orlando on Sunday(s) and the College Park one on Thursday(s) – unless one of those was one of the lame-o experiences!

    missy Reply:

    This one is in Hunter’s Creek — I think they call it the “Village Park Farmers’ Market”. I suppose the strip mall where they take up space in the parking lot is Village Park.

    I’ve heard that the Winter Garden one is “good”, although for all I know it’s just like Hunter’s Creek, and the person who thinks it’s “good” has much lower standards than I have.

  3. Hrm, interesting! I will let you know if I find any satisfactory ones!! =)

    missy Reply:

    Fantastico! I also can’t wait to read about what you think of the Vibrams.

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