Farmer’s Market Experiment: Results

Here is what I bought for $65:

The goods

In the basket is: a pineapple, garlic chives, zucchini, yellow squash, purple beans, shiitake mushrooms, a chicken, 1/4 lb gouda cheese, honey, green peppers, sweet potatoes, persimmons, cucumbers, a loaf of challah and a loaf of onion-sage focaccia, and a bag of mixed stir-fry greens.

This was supposed to “top off” what we already had in the fridge and pantry, and it did with a few things left over.

Wed. dinner: ground beef, shredded yellow squash, all the stir fry greens and some oregano and basil from the garden added to jarred marinara sauce and served with rotini and a salad of leftover mixed greens and one of the cucumbers.

Thurs. dinner: bibimbap with stir-fried grouper, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and purple green beans, served with a pound of steamed shrimp, and zucchini, yellow squash and garlic chive pajeon.

Friday dinner: roast chicken with sweet potatoes and carrots roasted in the pan. Only 2 of the kids were home to eat this, so we have leftover veggies for a pureed soup, and leftover chicken for salads. The breads all went for breakfasts and lunches. We still have all the cheese, the pineapple (it isn’t quite ripe) and the peppers. No one is eating the persimmons except me, as usual.

bread, cheese, chicken, vegetables

Results of the experiment: Some of what I saw bordered on price gouging. Alligator tail meat, which I can get all over the place for $5-$6 a pound, was $8. Free-range, non-organic chicken (fed commercial corn and soy feed) was $4.50 per pound, when many farms sell it for $3. Organic chickens were $6 per pound.

Some of the high prices seem wasteful to me. I watched many vendors pack up most of their wares, even though the market was very busy, because their prices were too high. I understand earning a living but it seems to be many of these farmers and even the resellers should be trying to find that sweet spot, the price point that’s high enough to make a profit but low enough that they’re selling near to all of their product.

We’re going to try again today at the 441 Market, which generally has lower prices and more produce than value-added products.

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