Buyer beware: The Duplicitous Nature of Natural

 7-23-2013

Historically, July and August are the months that market farmers make the income that will carry them through to the next growing season.

However, with our cool wet Spring, constant cloudy conditions, and flooding rains, market farmers in the Roanoke area are having a difficult time growing and harvesting enough produce to make ends meet now.

A recent post to a market vendor’s blog indicated that everything was going very well for all market vendors. This egregious lack of cognitive reality should be expected from someone who fills their market tables not with homegrown produce, but mainly with fruits and vegetables that were procured elsewhere.

If you believe that the heavily laden table that is in front of you was grown by the farmer behind the table under these weather conditions, think again.

If you believe that you are buying homegrown produce that has been grown using organic standards, think again.

If you want quality homegrown produce, really look at what is being offered and ask questions about how it was grown.

Homegrown produce, grown conventionally or in accordance with organic standards, will generally not be uniform in shape, size, or color.

Produce that has been bought from a wholesaler to sell at the market will have that graded look, a uniform appearance, and questionable origins.

Individuals who grow everything they sell at the farmers market are farmers.

Individuals who buy wholesale to sell at the farmers market are retailers. Passing this produce off as homegrown or organic when it’s not is duplicitous.

Support your market farmers; ask questions and buy homegrown. Con 

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