I didn’t know last week was National Farmers Market Week (isn’t every week of the year dedicated to some cause or another?) but I liked this article written by a farmer from Virginia, on four questions you should never ask a farmer at the market. I’m definitely guilty of asking the last one, and I’ve heard people asking the first one. Here’s his explanation for why not to ask it:
1) Was this picked fresh this morning?
Imagine market has just opened, and it’s 8 a.m. For the last hour and a half, the farmer has been setting up his booth. Before that, he drove two hours to get to market. Sometime earlier he brushed his teeth, made a pot of coffee, and—with any luck at all—put on his pants. At what point this morning would he have had time to pick 20 bushels of tomatoes, 100 pints of blueberries, or gather 50 dozen eggs?
Truckloads of fresh food don’t magically load themselves in fifteen minutes. It takes many hands many hours to pick basketfuls of green beans or apples. This doesn’t even count moving the harvest from the field to the packing shed, or loading it onto the truck itself.
And the other three questions…
2) What time do you get up?
3) I know you’re not open yet, but I’m in a hurry…could you sell me something before the bell?
4) Since it’s the end of the market, can I get a special deal on what you’ve got left?