I have to be honest with you – I really don’t think farmers markets are that great…..
WAIT, WAIT, hold on, fix your face, let me explain.
I live in Fort Lauderdale, so you’d think that farmers markets would be the best place to get fresh local produce at the lowest prices all year round. I mean it’s sunny 90% of the time, right? And what would one expect to find at a farmer’s market? I assumed it would be:
Wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
Fresh made juices
Homemade baked goods
Homemade anything really!
Other stalls selling other things unrelated to food
Not Many Options
Now, where I live there are people whose yards are bursting with fruit trees, but you have to go into battle with the neighbor himself, the strangers strolling by picking as they go along, the squirrels, and the iguanas. Those damn iguanas!!! Really, it’s the hunger games for fruit picking. So barring that, if you want to get fresh fruits (and veggies) you have to go to Publix/Aldi/Whole Foods etc. (I’ll throw poor Winn Dixie in too as an honorable mention). Or you go to your local farmers market
Now there are 2 farmers markets close to me that operate on Saturdays and Sundays. Two different locations, the same vendors for both. So there’s nothing new to see either day. The single, solitary produce tent, has nothing local. NOTHING. It’s basically grocery store items being sold outside under a tent. And most of them are marked up. And wilted because it’s South Florida and it’s hot hot hot! So somebody explain to me what’s the point then?
They do sell fresh juices, coconut water and jelly, and sugar cane, so I suspect that’s their saving grace. The rest of the market has vendors selling candles, ceviche, dog clothes/food, the honey guy (to be fair his honey is local and tastes spectacular), and a bunch of other random stalls that nobody really gives their money to. Now, I’m not saying those other vendors aren’t necessary, as they add a bit of variety to the whole place, making the whole experience interesting. But the produce section smh….. It’s disappointing.
My Farmers Market Wish
So now that I’ve typed out all my thoughts and feelings about this lol, I realize now that my problem isn’t that farmers markets aren’t all that. They’re probably pretty great in other places. I’ve heard of the Coconut Grove Farmers Market (down in Miami), but I’m afraid to drive all that way to be disappointed, you know?
I’ve gone to Las Olas FM with their huge produce section, and it’s just flashy and overpriced. I’ve been to the Parkland FM, and the one or two produce spots barely have any fresh, local, organic food. They’re almost like afterthoughts. Maybe 50 – 60 vendors, 2 small produce stalls, most of the stuff comes from wherever grocery stores get their produce. Might as well save my gas and drive the 2 minutes to Publix and call it a day.
I want to go to a farmers market and the main feature is the fresh local produce, which are being sold for a fraction of the cost because they didn’t have to be shipped from California or Mexico, or New Zealand. I want fresh juices, fresh food, fresh and possibly organic everything!
I might be expecting too much though.