Monday, April 02, 2007

Where Have All The Farmers Gone?

I headed out for the Orlando Farmers Market on Sunday, filled with excitement and packing several canvas bags to cart my wares. I arrived to see this sparse setting. Few vendors; fewer patrons. So much for buy local!

The sole vendor with produce had a nice selection of healthy looking products, allegedly from Plant City. I didn't want to challenge the bananas with the familiar label. Certainly doubt those were grown locally. But the strawberries, peppers, cabbages and oranges were at least grown within a 50 mile radius.

The DelMonte produce boxes neatly stowed underneath the display tables made me slightly suspicious that local might apply more to the vendor's supplier than the actual source of the produce.

The floral and plant people had some great bargains that the enterprising vendors had nursed from seed and seedlings. But you can't eat these.

I'm trying to support the local farmer. I'm trying to eat locally grown foods which are not only better for me, at least in theory, but purchasing items that haven't had to be transported all the way down this long peninsula is saving on petroleum usage, too. But the elusive farmers are making it difficult.

I spoke with the manager of the market, she wasn't very encouraging. She said there are very few local farmers to begin with and fewer still who are interested in carting their wares to this venue. I would add, this market has poor attendance. That, coupled with market day being Sunday, may have a big influence on the lack of interest by the farmers. The poor attendance may be because it's Sunday.

The Orlando Farmers Market not only moved from Heritage Square to Lake Eola about a year ago, but changed market day from Saturday to Sunday. The move and day change does not seem to have been a successful decision.

This was the produce selection at our Farmers Market



March reading included a lot of favorite authors and a couple of new ones, new to me, anyway. These are the books I finished!

Mercy Among the Children. . . . David Adams Richards

Bad Blood . . . . Linda Fairstein

Money As Sacrament . . . Adele Azar-Rucquoi

Nineteen Minutes . . . . Jodi Picoult

Whitethorn Woods . . . . Maeve Binchy

Christine Falls . . . . Benjamin Black (John Banville)

Till next time. . . keep on cooking!

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