It is getting late. I have just watched this week's The Walking Dead. And The Talking Dead is not a show that demands one's undivided attention. This means that I can give you the advice promised in the title to this post.
I was in the Valley on Saturday as I mentioned yesterday. I drove past Noggin's Farm a few times, and past Hennigar's Farm Market a few times as well. Both places were chock-a-block with folks. Cars jammed into their parking lots hell, west and crooked. People from the city spending too much money who don't realize that they are doing so.
Here is the bitter truth, folks: For the most part, locals do not shop at these places. For one thing, the city slickers have taken all the parking spaces. For another, the prices are mostly not realistic. Locals can get better prices at road side markets or a store in New Minas called Henny Penny's. Very close to my mother's place there is a fellow who sells lots of vegetables. Until this week he had plenty of pumpkins, but they were all gone yesterday. I am guessing there was a run on pumpkin seeds in the last 7 days.
When my father was alive I would occasionally drive him to a farmer's market just outside of Centreville, whose name escapes me. The produce was good, and one didn't have the impression that they proprietors were interested in holding people upside down by their ankles and shaking them until every last sou dropped out of their pockets. There are other farmer's markets that are similarly ethical in the Valley. Not as many as there should be, but they are there.
If you city people want to drive to these places just off the highway in Greenwich and Wolfville, then go ahead. It is your money. I am just saying that you betray yourself to these people when you can instead go somewhere else, support a small farmer, see more lovely countryside, and have more shekels in your pocket when you return to the city and have dinner at the Chickenburger.
Soon, my pet. Soon.
See you tomorrow.
You've nailed it, Bev! I used to be a strong proponent of eating local, of farm markets and farmers markets and such, but in the past several years I've watched getting a fair price for produce turn into gouging by SOME (not all) of those markets. I went to Seaport on Saturday and walked around studying prices. Being from the Valley, I have a pretty good sense of what is a decent price, and just shook my head. I want farmers to make a fair living--but when some start gouging, it is apt to boomerang on all farmers, and that worries me.
The thing about Seaport is that the prices they charge for victuals have to take into account the cost of transporting the stuff there and back, the cost of renting a space at Seaport, and working in some kind of profit for themselves. That would certainly increase the overall cost of items there.
Which makes me wonder: Is it really worth it for people to drive from the Valley, from Pictou County, wherever, to serve the HRM public? You'd have to sell a lot of cucumbers to cover all the costs I mentioned above, and I wonder if the numbers are truly there. Why not stay closer to home and take advantage of the many farmers' markets there?
But we both know that locals don't shop at the farmers' markets just off the highway. I hate to use the word "gouge", but you did, so I will follow suit. I much prefer buying from a farmer who's selling his wares off the side of the road, and you put your $ in a tinbox and drive away. Much less overhead. The surroundings are not as sexy as you'll find at the places locals avoid, but you'll get a good price and help out a farmer who isn't interested in taking every last cent in your pocket.
Glad you wrote, Jodi. Keep it up.
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