It is important to remember that each stall at a farmers’ market represents a different family operated small farm. The person you see behind a table loaded with vegetables, flowers, and/or fruits is the person who grew these products or his/her employee. For most, farming is their livelihood. On average, most of our farmers sell at eight farmers’ markets every week. Our farmers are hard working people and take pride in their products.
The farmers are responsive to market patrons. Most now use farming practices that eliminate the need for chemical pesticides. They let the customers know this by posting “no spray” signs. To increase flavor growers are planting “non-shippable” fruit trees. The fruit of these trees do not hold up to the rigors of shipping, but they taste better.
Standing in the produce section of a grocery store a person might not know where the farm is located, was the product sprayed, what the product is, or how to prepare the product. At the farmers’ market you can talk directly to the farmer who grew the products and is happy to answer all of your questions.
At a farmers’ market it is very common to see people talking and obviously enjoying life! Customers generate a very positive atmosphere.
Some time ago, the California State law which allows certified farmers’ markets to operate was about to expire. We posted a sign asking for signatures to send to the legislature. Customers eagerly signed. Customers were heard to say “They can’t close our farmers’ market.” This sense of ownership is part of the spirit that makes farmers’ markets great places to shop for produce.