I've been raving about the farmers markets before, I'm so happy we have them here in Grafton. It's only once a week and the market is only small (8 stallholders), but other then local cheese, it has just about everything. All grown locally, mostly organic. Not only does it supplement our kitchen garden, it also the place where I can pick up some beeswax, tea tree oil, jam, pecan nuts, olives, alpaca wool and let's not forget the banana's. Having grown up in The Netherlands, buying local banana's, mandarines and pineapples is still special.
They've recently started selling rice. Grown during the wet season, when the copious amount of rain we get turns the lower lying area's into swamps, perfect for growing rice.
New today is a lady selling sourdough bread making many people very happy.
When you walk into a market or a shop and they know all your kids by name, you know you've become part of a community. Home at last.
On the markets you get to support the farmer, paying them a fair price for their work for the freshest products. Too many farmers quit these days, because of the undercutting from supermarkets, they get payed less and less, while I only see prices going up.
Dairy farmers have been hit the hardest when last year the supermarkets started a milk-war, the two big chains started to drop the prices on milk to attract more customers. Could be a good strategy, most customers buy milk after all. But to drop the price they pay the farmer, out of the blue, doesn't sound fair.
A local dairy farmer has decided they've had enough and will soon start to bottle and sell their own milk (link). Like they used to do, with an optional non homogenised (cream floating on top), in glass bottles and delivered. I've put my name down.
"Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It Means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs."