Answers to 4 farmers’ market questions that are always asked – and shouldn’t beMay 20, 2013 by Lindsay
Forrest Pritchard is a farmer who just published a well-reviewed book, Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm (his is an eighth-generation farm) – you can read Michael Ruhlman on the book here. But Pritchard also publishes an interesting blog at his farm’s website, Smith Meadows. One of those blogs we thought would be very informative to share.
Titled 4 Questions You Should Never Ask at Farmers’ Markets, Pritchard leads in with: “I’ve spent over 1,000 Saturdays and Sundays selling at farmers markets, and even after all this time I still love to answer questions. Farmers markets are one of the few places where customers can directly connect with their food, meeting face-to-face with the people who grew it. Questions are expected at market, and even encouraged. From livestock breeds to production practices, organic certification to chemical usage, I’ve been asked just about every food-related question under the sun.
Though most farmers will happily answer all inquiries, there are a handful of questions that make even the friendliest farmers want to choke a carrot. If you don’t want your farmer to turn three shades of beet red, here’s the reasoning behind 4 questions every customer should avoid.”
Here are the questions, with a condensed version of his response – the full blog is well worth reading, if for nothing more than the humor.
Was this picked fresh this morning? As he explains, given the work involved in getting ready for the market, the farmer and his crew would have to be up all night.
What time do you get up? Apparently this is a no-win question, so he has learned to say 4:30 – all farmers always get up at 4:30
I know you’re not open yet, but I’m in a hurry… could you sell me something before the bell? No – it’s a rush as it is to get ready for the opening bell.
Since it’s the end of market, can I get a special deal on what you’ve got left? Again, no. This is a no-win question – people would either wait until the end or complain about paying full price.
And now you’re a “market insider.”
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