Vote for Your Favorite Farmers Market!

Massachusetts Agriculture Commissioner Scott Soares at a recent visit to the Farmers' Market in Shelburne Falls (Note his EXCELLENT taste in books!)

Massachusetts Agriculture Commissioner Scott Soares at a recent visit to the Farmers Market in Shelburne Falls (Note his EXCELLENT taste in books!)

 

The American Farmland Trust is asking Americans to identify their favorite farmers markets in an online poll. I love this idea, and I hate to fan the flames of regional chauvinism. Nevertheless, I must admit that my flames are already fanned: I was incensed by the partisan article in which I found out about this effort.
 
In Tuesday’s Los Angeles Times Russ Parsons wrote about the “grievous wrong” done to California farmers markets by the polling so far, which has not focused entirely on his state.
 
He complained, “Now, there’s no arguing that there are great farmers markets all over the country these days. But Ithaca? Given the weather up there, how long can it be open? Two weeks in August?”

 
He went on to urge his fellow westerners to vote for their local markets.
 
I know Parsons’ tongue was in his cheek. Nevertheless, I reserve the right to take a small bit of umbrage at his assumption that bigger (in this case, a bigger growing season) is better. 
 
Farmers markets foster small farms and often small fruits and vegetables, which can be the most delectable of all. We in the northeast may not have a very long growing season, but we treasure our few days of harvesting just as we treasure our small farms and their produce.
 
So without pressuring you, dear readers, to vote for any particular market, I urge you to participate in the poll.  (I can of course HOPE that you’ll choose farmers markets in the northeast!) You have until August 8.
 
If you have a market you particularly love, in addition to telling the American Farmland Trust about it please feel free to share it with readers in the comments section below.
 
Enough venting!  I’ll be back on Friday with a summery recipe and a better attitude……..

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4 Responses to “Vote for Your Favorite Farmers Market!”

  1. Margot says:

    I like the ones in Fairfax County, Virginia–I use the Alexandria one on Sherwood Hall Lane because it’s close. My favorite one is the Saturday morning Eastern Market in Washington, D.C. The market area has been rebuilt after a fire a few years ago.

  2. Peter says:

    My first experience with a farmers’ market was during a visit to Los Angeles, more than 50 years ago. The farmers market was right up there with Knotts Berry Farm and the original Anaheim Disneyland as a tourist draw. Hollywood was not yet on my radar. Certainly the availability of terrific produce is a boon to a successful market, and in that sense California triumphs. And regular, daily hours are a help as well. Now that I’m living largely in suburban Connecticut, I find the odd, irregular and infrequent hours of the scant farmers markets a deterrent to patronizing them. I know I should, but there are so many obstacles to pursuing the perfect, ripe, tasty tomato.

    My mother, a native of west Texas, first lived in New York City in 1946, and has said that, at that time, the best food in America was shipped to New York City. Presumably food distribution networks originated in larger cities and then fed out to smaller population centers. What one grew in one’s backyard garden in Topeka notwithstanding, it probably was true that the quality of foods in New York markets was higher. That is certainly not the case today, where the space occupied by a tomato is very much “real estate” and the matter of freshness and taste seem secondary or tertiary. While Union Square offers relatively reliable sources of fresh produce, one demonstrably pays a price for these recherche veggies. I’d like to visit a wholesale produce market in New York for a sense of what a real, round the clock food market might be like. In the meantime the New York City area, while claiming a number of small markets that offer food at a boutique scale, is no longer a treasure trove or cornucopia of fresh foods. Oddly, when I travel to rural Massachusetts and stop at the supermarket in Greenfield, I find what I couldn’t find in Manhattan or, if I’d spotted it in New York but found the quality below par, I found better quality and substantially lower prices in Greenfield. If I can overcome the hurdle of market hours that are limited and weekly, I’ll begin to take advantage of farmers markets. Or plant a garden.

  3. tinkyweisblat says:

    If you’ve read this far, perhaps you’ll be interested in yet ANOTHER farmers market poll! Here’s the url:

    http://www.care2.com/farmersmarket

    Good luck……….

  4. Allen says:

    Thanks you so much for the recognition. Great blog. If you are interested in more ways to get your blog involved, become a Friend of Farmland: http://www.farmland.org/actioncenter/no-farms-no-food/friends-of-farmland.asp

    Happy National Farmers Market Week,
    Allen@AFT

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