Long Reads

Are Farmers Markets Really as Expensive as Everyone Says?

May 18, 2017

No one is going to correct you if you say that the farmers market is an expensive place to shop. It's so widely assumed that it's taken for fact—and a quick breeze through a market might even corroborate (especially if you're shopping for meat, though this article will focus on produce). I watched people walk through the stands at Union Square doing their assessments of price, picking up bunches of radishes with the dirt still on them, then setting them down upon hearing what it would run them. (Some people are more subtle than others about this—"I'll circle back later." Some people hightail it in the other direction. I'm guilty of both.)

Price-savviness is part of shopping, and though the argument that farmers markets seem more expensive than retail stores is largely true, it's not inherently true, Claire Brown, a former market manager for the Union Square Greenmarket (and now a writer for The New Food Economy), told me. Dollars are dollars and budgets are budgets. But the prices of the goods you buy at the farmers market are a lot more complicated than the numbers on the placards read—and those numbers shouldn't be the only thing we take into consideration.

The Union Square Greenmarket is the largest market in New York City. Photo by Catherine Lamb

It's complicated: That seems to be the general rule when it comes to how prices are determined at farmers markets. Part of the reason for that is that neither prices nor units of measurement (like bunches) are standardized, which means that some farmers will charge you a buck for a bunch of basil and some will charge you $3 or more, and the bunches might be the same size. "Take a pound of carrots, for instance," Claire explained. They might be "$1 at Trader Joe's, probably $1.29 at Fine Fare, and then you buy a bunch for $2 at the farmers market... but that bunch weighs more than a pound, and it has edible greens attached." Edible greens that most of us are probably composting (or just plain throwing away).

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What's more, at the market, one bunch might be grown organically and one conventionally but neither are labeled and you're none the wiser. And maybe one farm lost its entire crop of tomatoes this year. And the other farm is run by a third-generation farmer using ancient farming practices. Or maybe the only difference between the two farms is that one pays its workers a living wage and the other doesn't. And all of that factors into how much your herbs or tomatoes or carrots cost.

So, like I said, it's complicated.

Carrots of varying price points and varying weights (and varying colors). Photo by Catherine Lamb

It's hard to generalize how farmers calculate their pricing—as you can see, there are a lot of interwoven factors that contribute to the number that actually goes up on the placard. But reasons to actually pay that price for the goods can mostly be sorted into two points: The food is worth more—it's fresher than what you can buy anywhere else, has more nutrients because of its freshness, and includes what Grace Galanti, a farmer at Eckerton Hill Farm in Pennsylvania, called "consultative services"—someone to talk to about the goods, how to store and prepare and cook them. But all this can feel less significant if your primary concern is getting food on the table at all.

Which brings us to the second point: You're getting more than you would at the grocery store, often in quantity as well as in quality. As more and more markets begin to accept EBT (food stamps) and WIC and even offer coupon programs, this point becomes increasingly valuable.


So why are prices so low at some stands and so high at others? Why can I buy a bunch of herbs for $1 at one stand when another stand charges $3? I asked this question to some of the farmers at the Union Square Greenmarket and got a handful of different answers.

Tyler Dennis, of Alewife Farm (a produce grower in New York's Hudson Valley), suspects that the farm workers (i.e. not the farmers themselves but the people running the farm stand or the people working the fields back on the farm) at the stands where herbs go for a buck a bunch may not be making fair wages. "I’d also guess they’re using conventional practices that in a way simplify their process," Tyler said, "but that burden and that expense get passed down the line ecologically."

But Chris Field of Camporosso Farm, a Pennsylvania farm that specializes in hard-to-find chicories and other greens, had another take: $1 for a bunch of herbs could be profitable and smart, he explained, if you make that bunch small enough; because at $1, the bunch is an impulse buy (and a small bunch of herbs is usually all you really need anyway).

"Herbs are quite easy to grow and fast to pick," he said. "It’s one of those things that people, when they’re at a stand, just think, Oh, I could use some parsley. They don’t even hesitate. They just grab a few bunches." Increase the price and fewer people will just reach out and grab a bunch." Much more than a dollar, and the chance of impulsiveness decreases—and so does the farmer's chance at profitability.

"Farmers are business people first and foremost," Elanor Starmer, the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) under the USDA, told me. (The AMS is responsible for the organic certification program, among other things.) "They can't stay in business if they can't figure out how to make it work for themselves financially." But very few farmers are trying to cheat their customers in regard to pricing (even though you might be tempted to suspect it when you hand over $7 for a basket of strawberries).

"We just try to be mid-range," Camporosso's Chris told me. "Some of the other specialty farms are a lot more expensive than us, and we try to be approachable." His partner Jessi Okamoto added, "We look at our stuff and think, well, would we be okay spending that?" Most farmers are trying to be accessible, for their prices to be reasonable; they just also have to turn a profit.

The farmers, as the people who've grown and put the time and effort into the food we're buying, naturally have a different understanding of what's "reasonable" than we, the consumers, are likely to. We see a basket of strawberries that are smaller than what we'd buy at the market and sometimes, especially at the beginning of the season, twice as expensive as what you could buy at the closest grocery store.

At Union Square, a dozen eggs will run you about $5. At grocery stores, they range from about $2 to about $7 for "pasture-raised" varieties. Photo by Catherine Lamb

But what we don't see is the extra effort the farmers had to put in to be able to harvest the berries early in order to meet the high demand for the first of the crop. ("We have row covers on the fields to keep [our greens] from getting frost-damaged, then take them off and cultivate [weed and otherwise tend to the plants] since we don’t use herbicide, put the covers back on because it’s still cold. On, off, on, off," said Chris.)

Many farmers at a market will also choose to cultivate a specialty variety, bred for flavor rather than size or disease resistance or how they hold up in transit. Farmers can sell these varieties for more because no one else is growing them—and since they taste better than most commercial varieties, and they're less common, this crop diversity is good for shoppers, too (especially for chefs shopping the market for unique items to put on their menus).

But these varieties are also usually more prone to disease. "Sometimes for us, growing specialty crops, we really have to take into account that we’ll maybe harvest 60%," Chris told me. That means that if they plant 2500 heads of Tom Thumb lettuce, an heirloom variety, and can harvest 60% of it (losing the other 40% to root rot), they're only able to bring 1500 heads of it to market—even though they've used the same amount of farmland and other resources to grow it as if they had been able to harvest the full crop. (Which means they're barely making any profit on it. "It's a loss leader," Jessi said.) And then there's the business of actually harvesting, cleaning, packaging, and driving the produce to market (or to wholesalers, or whoever else is buying it). And having employees to do that labor, and being able to pay them a living wage.

Photo by James Ransom

That last reason—being able to pay farm workers well—isn't a priority for all farmers, but for many, it's reason enough to participate in a market like Union Square, where they can earn a lot more than they would at a market closer to their farm or doing wholesale and therefore pay their employees better. "We do the local market mostly as a community service thing," Grace told me; they don't really make any money there, but as Administrator Starmer explained, "Many small farmers have a social mission. They're interested in serving their communities. They'll attend markets in higher-income areas and lower-income areas. You might see the prices vary at those markets" as a result.

It's true: At a big urban market like the one at Union Square, the prices are notably higher than one closer to the farms (or even at an urban market with less foot traffic, like one in the Bronx). Many farmers will even charge slightly less—say, $2.50 rather than $3—at a market uptown, which is more neighborhoody and less the tourist mania that Union Square is. Administrator Starmer told me that sometimes market managers work with farmers to set the prices and establish some price stability, but Tyler, of Alewife Farm, said that, for better or worse, that's not the case at Union Square.

"Market managers don’t regulate [pricing] at all," he said. "It’s totally up to us." As a result, he said that he feels "a lot of pressure to benchmark our pricing with the other produce people here. We’re not certified [organic], but we’re effectively organic. So in that sense I look at places like Norwich Meadows [a certified organic stand at Union Square] for pricing benchmarks even though they’re almost always more expensive that we are." Tyler also said that he's gotten feedback on his pricing in both directions; he's been accused by customers of pricing his produce both too highly and too cheaply.

Apples range $1.50 to $3 per pound at the Union Square market—about the same as at most grocery stores. Photo by Catherine Lamb

But is the farmers market truly more expensive than a grocery store? Administrator Starmer's agency, the AMS, did a study with the Vermont Department of Agriculture looking at produce sold at farmers markets in Vermont and comparing them to prices in retail stores. "We found that the majority of the time, the farmers market was comparable or competitive [that is, within a 10% range] with retail prices—[prices were] equal to or less than at the grocery store, especially organic products," she told me.

This backs up what Claire said about the carrots: A bundle of them might be more expensive than a bundle at the grocery store, but it weighs more than a pound, has the edible greens still attached, and they're fresher than what you'd get at the grocery store—usually picked within a day of coming to market. She says this is especially apparent in bunches of greens: "You get a lot more bang for your buck at the farmers market, but the per-unit price makes it seem more expensive."

"Affordability at farmers markets has been a priority for us over the past seven years," Administrator Starmer said. The AMS has been working to increase the number of farmers markets that accept EBT and WIC. There were 800 markets that did so in 2009, when the AMS began its push to increase access to American farmers markets; in 2016, there are 6500. And they're seeing the program really being used: In 2007, EBT use saw $2.7 million pass through farmers markets; today, $19.4 million in EBT is used annually. This is, of course, hugely valuable for shoppers who rely on EBT for food—but it's also good for the farmers, as it grows their consumer base.

The program is widely used in the funny financial market that is New York: In the city as well as outside it, there are a lot of customers on both ends of the income spectrum—lots of people who have a lot of expendable income and lots of people with very little access to food at all (and lots of people in the middle). The wide participation rate makes driving the 120 miles two or three or four times a week from the farm to the markets in New York fiscally worth it for many farmers, including all the farmers I spoke to.

"That's why you meet people who work 20-hour days, four days a week, to drive down to the city," Claire told me. "In our screwed-up system, for many farmers it makes more sense to drive down to the city than to work with wholesalers, distributors, and local retailers." Wholesale and restaurant relationships simply aren't enough. Markets fill a huge part of the farmers' margins.

The Greenmarket sets up in Union Square Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and on a market Friday, the square sees well over 300,000 people. This means that the farm stands at the market occupy valuable real estate; in the 2015 market season (June 6 to November 21), it costs between $60 and $100 per day to rent 10 feet of frontage (many farms reserve two or more spaces), and there are fines if your attendance record is poor—and this, too, can contribute to how farmers set prices, and thus to why certain markets can seem more expensive than grocery stores or even other farmers markets.

These costs aren't unique to Union Square; many large greenmarkets operate similarly. But if you're wary of cost, head to another, less central market—you'll likely find both fewer people and lower pricing (though you'll also probably see less variety). Grace, of Eckerton Hill, also mentioned that prices at many stands go down over the course of the day, as farmers try to sell as much as they can before heading back to the farm: "Most farms aren’t bringing stuff home. They’re donating it," Brian Bishop of Berried Treasures Farm said. In New York City, that produce goes to City Harvest, an organization that picks up the food and delivers it to soup kitchens and similar organizations that feed the city's hungry.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was originally published in May 2016.

Tell us about your own experience shopping at farmers markets. What do you (or don't you) buy there? Tell us about it in the comments.

Illustrations by Catherine Lamb.

36 Comments

Ttrockwood May 20, 2017
I live in NYC and occasionally shop the union square farmers market- and yes i get the value/fresh/quality/fair wage/etc but if i took $20 to the farmers market and $20 to Fairway to buy the same items i leave Fairway with enough produce to last me 2-3 days and i leave the farmer market with enough to last me 1/2 days. <br />I'm gkad the markets take EBT but I'm certainly not using EBT or WIC and i'm not wealthy- so for those of us in between who have a comfortable food budget but still a budget nonetheless the NYC farmers markets are not a regular stop for more than a few bunches of greens (which are a good value there) or some corn once it's in season. <br />Last summer at the height of tomato season a pound of local tomatoes conventionally grown was still about $4! <br /><br />Suburban markets are a totally different story and often are a great deal and absolutely worth it. But union square market is certainly not somewhere i can shop often.
 
Sandy May 19, 2017
WE are a small own of 5000 and have 2 Farmers Markets. One is with a farm to table store the other is a state started farmers market of at least 20 years. I attend both and love buying fresh , picked that day produce. I believe we start the first Saturday of June with rhubarb, asparagus- spring stuff. I do love the farmers market.
 
Jennifer May 19, 2017
"No one is going to correct you if you say that the farmers market is an expensive place to shop." Wrong--I'll correct you. This is true if your idea of a farmers market is Union Square (there, I would largely agree with the analysis in the article). I live in Syracuse and shop at our Regional Market and other local farmers markets. The Regional Market has existed since the 1930s (I think it was a WPA project). It is cheap, cheap, cheap. Yes, we do allow wholesalers, but we also have all sorts of local growers, some organic, some not, but ALL of it a great deal. Cheaper than stores, better quality, get to know the growers, buy enough and all of a sudden there's an extra bunch of asparagus dropped in your bag. It is the most integrated space in Syracuse, from immigrants (many refugees) to lower-income city residents (of all races and ethnicities) to university professors to hipsters & foodies (many of these categories overlap in interesting ways). Overall I agree with the analysis in this article, but I really resent any article that leads with the incorrect and damaging meme that farmers markets are (necessarily, universally, almost always) pricey places to shop. It keeps away folks who would otherwise learn to love those funny-colored carrots with greens attached. (And having said that--I'll eat anything green, but carrot greens are among the least tasty out there.)
 
fsamis May 18, 2017
Whoa! Okay. First of all I'm a very small grower and I take my produce to market weekly. IF you care about local foods and local agriculture then YES! Farmers markets are worth it! Here in Hawaii there are totally farm stands that are just peddling produce shipped from the mainland (usually seconds hence why those stands are cheaper). BUT, local small farmers like to have a presence at the markets, it grows connection and community, puts a face behind the food. Generally, the prices at market (for local organic) are the same as the coop across from my house. And of course farm stands are more expensive than Safeway, Trader Joe's and other large chains, their overhead is less and they can buy in larger quantities. Market also allows us to offer specialty or unconventional items that grocers aren't often willing to stock and that market patrons might be more curious and adventurous to try. Example this week I am offering Green Coriander (Cilantro) bunches. Reading other comments I am sad to see that vendors don't take quality seriously :( I would never put a product in our stand that I wouldn't eat myself (maybe my day job in quality assurance is showing). And if you're unsure ask for samples. In my home state in peach and melon growers often have little samples cut in front of the varieties or you can just ask and they are usually really happy to slice something up.<br /> Additionally increasing Food Safety regulations and wholesaler demands, make it difficult and costly for small producers to sell to larger corporations-- which does not at all mean that farmers market produce is less safe, that article in the NYT was infuriating. I think farmers market is also a personal preference, some people like that adventure of looking through all the stalls and exploring. I on the other hand hate shopping and usually am IN and OUT. Anyways support local growers!!!
 
BRN July 4, 2016
cosmicook, your comments are sad. Shame on the managers of the markets where people are buying from wholesalers that they don't know that. While we allow farmers to bring some produce from other farmers, they are buying from local farmers, and they must put on their signs that the produce isn't theirs. I have found that sometimes melons other than watermelons don't have much flavor. I think it might have to do with how much water they get. The corn that we have here in New England (I'm in Massachusetts) is excellent. There are many varieties, so one variety from one farmer might be different than from another. All produce varies, so what you buy from the grocery store might be tasteless as well. I do find that my farmers' market produce lasts longer than grocery store produce. But, I'm buying directly from the farm that grows it. I remember one time MANY years ago buying a yellow corn that was named 199. I asked my husband how he liked it and he said, "Moooo." I never bought that kind again. Since then many new varieties of sweet corn have been developed, so most of it is sweet. Up here silver queen is always white. In the future, if you get a tasteless melon no matter where from, make it into a fruit salad and add some raspberry or strawberry syrup. You can find the syrup different places. It's good to keep on hand. Really jazzes up a fruit salad.
 
cosmiccook July 4, 2016
While visiting friends in Mobile, Al. we went to their Saturday Farmers Market. I bought melons from different vendors that were not only pricey but HORRIBLY lacking in taste. My friend and I sought out and purchased SILVER QUEEN corn from 2 different vendors. She said hers was the quality of cattle feed. While our corn was very sweet--it did NOT have the appearance of color or kernels of Silver Queen/King we've bought for the past 20 years. Ironically I also had hoped to get Chilton County (Ala. county) peaches at the market but none were to be found. There is a Chilton County vendor that comes to New Orleans 3 times a week so I bought from them. They are pricey (buck a peach) and the peaches can be hit or miss. This last purchase they were AWESOME.. I've found most farmers market produce does NOT last as long as supermarket produce and flavor wise can be a gamble as well. Also we have a Restaurant Depot in NOLA and I found (by asking) many produce vendors buy their products there and pass off as "farmer" products. Sad. You have to know your farmers.
 
BRN July 4, 2016
Me again. I think that there are many produce items that are raised conventionally, but do not have any pesticides on them. We have one certified organic farmer at the market that I manage, and one that is chemical free, but not certified (he's too small to make it worth his while.) At one conventional stand the spinach is $3 a pound, at the certified stand, it's $10-12. But, interestingly enough, the organic stand (large) does better than any other stand at our market. The stuff is beautiful, but I'm not sure that some shoppers are doing their due diligence, and walking around to see who has what before they shop. Especially those who don't care if something is organic.
 
Sandy July 4, 2016
WE are a very small town less than 6000 people in a rural area 200 miles from a town of 50,000 people or more. We have 2 Farmers Markets one on Friday which is a state sponsored event and cost 50 cents to participate. The money for an ad in the local paper. About 10-12 vendors in the peak season. The vendors are not professional growers but mostly the produce they offer are extras from their gardens . The bell goes off at 10 am and then the buying begins. Most vendors are finished in 30 minutes. They have wonderful things; peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, potatoes, herbs, and so much more. The other market is Saturday from 9-12 and run like a regular market. I think our Extention agent started this one. They also have lots of produce but also people selling handmade items , jellies, fry bread, ect. We will also have fruit trucks come in and sell peaches, pears, ect. I love the farmers market I do not mine paying a higher price as I know it was grown within 20 miles of where I live, it is fresh, and I can see the joy on the producers face doing what he or she loves to do when you compliment their wares.
 
BRN May 30, 2016
Another comment about shopping at markets. When my grandson was 5 I brought him to my house and gave him a peach that I had purchased at the farmers' market 2 days previously. When I brought his brother to my house a few hours later (he was 8) I offered him a peach. He didn't want one, and the 5 year old said, "Alex, you should really have one. You can smell the inside from the outside." That, my friends, is the essence of farmers' markets/farm stands and buying local. Alas, we will have almost no peaches in New England this summer due to the extreme cold that we had for several days in February. It killed most of the buds.
 
turnit May 30, 2016
I miss the Union Sq Market. Once had the pleasure of being drafted by Tim Stark of Eckerton Farm to throw together flats of peppers because one of his guys didn't show up. A friend from Brooklyn I had a blast watching big name chefs schmoozing with him, begging for whatever he recommended. I would do it anytime for free, it wasn't work.. I didn't ask for anything from him because he was a friend but he gave me a few bucks for well deserved and needed beers.<br />In Florida, now, I frequent farmer's markets and stands in Sarasota and Bradenton. They are always fun. NYC is always the best, though.<br />Very good article, thank you.
 
BRN May 28, 2016
I manage a farmers' market in Massachusetts, not Boston. We have organic, chemical free, but not certified organic, and conventional. The organic farm is consistently the most pricey. The other day their bunch of asparagus was half the size of the conventionally grown asparagus (no chemicals, not organic soil) and it cost 50 cents more. If buying organic is that important to someone, fine, but otherwise any customer should shop around and see who has what before they shop. If someone complains about the prices at the market, I always tell them that they are confusing price and value. What is purchased (produce in particular) will be fresh for a long time. As far as the other items, dairy, meat, poultry, etc. they are pricier than the grocery stores although the grass-fed hamburger at one of my local stores was more than at the market. I think we should all cook from scratch, and make our money go farther. I also say that small production farming is more expensive for the farmer, AND I also say that the money they spend at our market stays locally which helps our economy.
 
Kate May 23, 2016
Ask for seconds, the misshapen, slightly bruised that farmers either don't want to go home with or left behind. Ask them to prepare a box for you to pick up the next week. For farmers, selling at half the price is better than tossing it in the compost pile. Win win for everyone, including the planet.
 
scruz May 22, 2016
i am not typically a consumer of organic food but do like some of the specialty items to be found at my certified organic farmer's market in central coast california. being close to where it is grown, it is shocking how expensive much of it can be so the article's discussion of costs was interesting and explained a lot. i have narrowed down what i will buy at my f.m. to specialty items (interesting mushrooms and they are $3 cheaper per lb. than local organic market, used for mushroom lasagna a couple of times a year), some occasional herbs for special dishes and romaine lettuce at this time of year. the romaine can be huge and is maybe a third of the cost at the local organic market. i don't go too often and really limit my purchases to a couple of growers and since it is so busy it is hard to strike up any kind of relationship with the sellers. i do like and support what they are doing but my dollars need to go further and i fortunately have a great local small supermarket to go to. i am very jealous, however, at the beautiful and cheap produce to be found in china town s.f. at the markets found there. i love wandering through and seeing incredibly fresh bok choi and mushrooms.
 
JulieQC May 22, 2016
interesting discussion !
 
ads May 22, 2016
Farmer's markets in Chicago are unfortunately unreasonably priced and are weekend events for the well to do. Union Square market in NYC has always consistently offered premium produce for - reasonable (not cheap but reasonable) and the markets i've been to in SoCal - Santa Monica and Hollywood are bargains offering great produce - I do not expect current prices to be the same 15 years ago - so they have been good deals all those years. and the markets in Paris - the best quality for the best prices the freshest, most vibrant produce one can get
 
klrcon May 21, 2016
I've been shopping farmer's markets for 20+ years in a lot of different states and I think it really, really varies quite a bit based on location. So while I'm sure that this article is well-reported and accurate, I'm not sure it applies everywhere. Here in the Boston area I find that shopping at farmer's markets in less well-to-do neighborhoods is a pretty good deal - often cheaper or on par with the supermarket but SO much fresher and better quality for produce. In recent years a lot of new markets have sprung up in the better off neighborhoods but I stay away from those - they're wildly over-priced. And I only buy protein at the farmer's market when I'm flush or deliberately treating myself - the product is great quality but I'd go bankrupt if I did that too often. <br />The markets here are only open six months a year but my food budget does go down in those six months (I eat a lot of produce) so I think they're a pretty good deal overall, if you know how to shop the market. On the other hand, everything is relative. I lived in Arkansas for a while and I used to get the most glorious summer tomatoes for 50 cents a pound at the local farmer's market there - I have to say, I miss that! But that market had nothing in common with the kind of yuppie markets you find in the cities - it was held in a parking garage and farmer's would just drive in and sell off the back of a truck. And almost every week I would be the only white face there and some nice older lady would inevitably ask me if I was lost. <br />In general, my experience is you have to shop around for the best markets to patronize and also shop around within the market for the best quality/ prices at different vendors (because yes, some vendors aren't selling stuff that's really all that great) but if you do that, you can usually come away with some bargains and certainly better value for what you're paying than you would get at the supermarket. That's been true everywhere I've lived except the suburbs of New York where the stuff was universally over-priced and the quality no different than what you get at the supermarket. (I think the good stuff gets shipped into the city where it commands a premium, as the article mentioned.)
 
Smaug May 21, 2016
4I'd like to think that produce pricing in supermarkets is better in other parts of the country, but I doubt it. Here in Northern California, the dominant supermarket is Safeway- now owned by Albertson's- and their produce pricing is out of control- common items such as onions and potatoes are apt to cost 2 or 3 times what they do in produce stands, and even "produce supermarkets" such as Sprouts. And the quality is atrocious- everything LOOKS good, but you will NEVER get a good, or even decent, tomato or strawberry, stone fruits are picked so green they have no chance of ever really ripening,herbs and such are treated as gourmet items and prices are over the moon ( $2 for a bunch of cilantro?). On top of this, things are more and more sold prepackaged- you can't buy less than 2 lbs. of cherries at a time, etc. etc. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
 
Cindy F. May 21, 2016
I live in a small town in Colorado, and the farmers market opened this weekend. There were no produce stands except one. When you look at the produce, they still had stickers on them like in the grocery stores. I guess they all come from the same place. Sad.
 
That is truly sad....
 
I live in a small city in the middle of Oregon, and our farmer's market is only open from June 1 through mid-October, so shopping at a farmer's market year round for produce is not an option. I'm not sure if you took location into account. Great article, nonetheless!
 
Margit V. May 21, 2016
Thank you for this thoughtful post. In trying to eat as well as possible on a tight budget, any available bargains at farmers' markets are greatly appreciated. But, there's no way that I could manage without my small garden! Even a garden the size of a twin bed can produce veggies, herbs, and flowers to significantly increase my well-being---,so, if possible, I highly recommend such a project. I LOVE farmers' markets! Just cannot afford to rely on that as my primary source.