Saturday, July 12, 2008

Alachua County Farmers' Market Busy This Morning


With increased awareness to buying locally, our farmers' markets are busy, busy, busy. The farmers' market up by the Highway Patrol station was just that. This morning, I arrived about 10:45 and the parking lot was full and vendor's supplies were beginning to run thin. One vendor had been selling greens, but was sold out. I saw lots of tomatoes, okra, local eggplant, acorn squash, butternut squash, and ample offerings of plants. The opportunities to buy low priced, high quality produce are many.

Certainly, buying locally allows the consumer to purchase a fresher product with less energy being expended it to bring it to the customer. A paraphrasing of a line from John Hartford's music says it well. "It's good for the country, good for the nation, ain't nothing like that sweet sensation"... of buying home-grown Florida produce.

To magnify why buying locally is a smart way to shop, take a look at products sold in the produce sections of many conventional grocery chains. Try to get a sense of how far those items were shipped before it reached your hands. You will be shocked particularly when there are ample supplies closer to the store that would put money into the local economy, use less energy to deliver to the customer, and be of higher quality and taste.

My pet peeve is when Publix ships California citrus across the country to sell in Florida, a leading citrus producer. Give me a break.........

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