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Can someone please explain to me why farmers markets are now full of crap?

We went to a local farmers market on the weekend, and apart from the odd stall (one selling Yendon tomatoes and eggplant, one with mushrooms, another selling local bread and ONE SINGLE stall selling locally grown mixed veg) the rest of the market was filled with stalls selling things that are not anything like what should be at a produce market. These products (and good quality products mind you) do have a place to be sold, but that place is elsewhere, not at a farmers market.

Puddings, pesto, dips, soaps, ‘gourmet sausages’, cupcakes, biscuits, worm farms, overpriced gourmet jams & chutneys, expensive chocolate and other products many involving the word gourmet or artisan. It really makes me mad! What should be at a ‘Farmers Market’ is locally grown primary produce, veg, fruit, local raised meat and game, live chickens, ducks, rabbits, yabbies, nuts, mushrooms, and please more of the basics like bread (We have no decent bakeries in town that are not either a supermarket bakery or a franchised pre-mixed bakery). A farmers market is set up as an alternative for us to buy the basics, the staples that are are product of a local economy. Not sandalwood infused exfoliating soap.

The reason why the stalls are filled with rubbish is for two main reasons.

1. There just isn’t the local grass roots industry
2. Some turkey long ago discovered that middle class white yuppies love farmers markets and will part with spare cash so it was identified as a good place to sell ‘product’ like overpriced pesto and soap.

I’d like to see more fresh produce. Not for me, I grow my own, but for the punters that go to a farmers market and expect to see farm raised product on sale. The reason for the low numbers of punters at the market weekend might be that they are now wary of the same old products being sold. Products that obviously have very little to do with farmers! Maybe they should be called ‘Artisan overpriced stuff’ markets.

So I’m going to test a theory. I want to see if I can get enough produce from local backyard growers for us to have a stall at a farmers market this summer. The idea would be that everyone puts in a bit of excess produce, we sell it, and then go to a pub and blow the money on booze and talk about the worlds problems.

So who’s in? Please contact me if you’re local to the Ballarat region and may have home grown excess produce and want to get involved. This isn’t about making money, it’s more about connecting us backyard farmers!


The 1% ‘rs (the good stuff)

PS. I’m on detox this week. Is it obvious?