Day 77–A Farmer’s Market Conundrum

I don’t mean to be grouchy, but Poole’s Diner, will you quit buying all the organic broccoli at the Farmer’s Market? For the second week in a row, I’ve headed out to the state farmer’s market and made a beeline for the only organic farmer out there on weekdays. Both weeks, I have arrived just after the buyer from a local restaurant has cleaned them out of organic broccoli and swiss chard. UGH!!! And GRRRR!!!

Now, as a responsible adult, I know that really, all the broccoli and chard is for sale and that’s life, right? Snooze, you lose. A farmer has to make his/her living and chefs have people to feed. But shopping ettiquete would dictate that you don’t show up and take everything, especially when you could make an arrangement with the farmer for a commercial purchase. And selling ettiquete would seem to be that you don’t sell your entire stock of a popular item to one buyer, leaving your regular customers with…beets. Now I loves me some beets, but not in place of broccoli.

This wouldn’t be a big deal, but apparently no one else at the market has broccoli or swiss chard, organic or otherwise, leaving me here, whining and bereft of spring veggies. Hopefully the Western Wake Farmer’s Market can do me a solid today. ‘Cause I really can’t stand my own whining and it could be a long week.

Some of you who read this blog are farmers and some of you are farmer’s market shoppers. So what do YOU think? Is the ettiquete rule silly? Do I need to take my lunch hour at 9:00 a.m. so I can secure the coveted vegetables? As the demand for organic, local vegetables increases, I can definitely see this kind of thing becomming an issue.

So be prepared for some competition if you’re headed out to the farmer’s market this morning. As for me, I’ll be tying on my track shoes and putting a Ben Hur spike on my recycled shopping bag. Get outta mama’s way, peoples. I’m in it for the broccoli…

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  1. tuckarella

     /  March 17, 2012

    As someone who covets the few bundles of rhubarb at any market (Dan is rhubarb fiend), I know your pain. But broccoli is kind of a staple, and no one piggy, chef or no, should be hogging it all. I know that it’s good for restaurants to have a visible presence at markets, chefs being something of minor celebrities, but it doesn’t help the establishment reputation to be so greedy, either. I would say something to the manager, but maybe not the farmer, who really is just trying to sell everything.

  2. That’s frustrating, but I could see their point of view on it. In that case, I would try to work out a deal. Pay them ahead to hold a bunch for you next week. Just get a receipt or something in writing. I did this in the midwest where the markets were slim. I wanted a bushel of corn to cream and didnt want to take the guys whole lot. We worked out a deal on the side and He brought extra the next week for me, plus I got a much better deal.

  3. I am with you on the etiquette rules! The problem is that whoever bought all the broccoli and swiss chard did not get the memo. They feel a sense of accomplishment, not guilt (like you or I would if we bought all of something right before the next soul in line). And they must be stopped. That or you’ll have to grow all your own broccoli.

    Creative Noshing is right. Work out a deal on the side (sly). And the seller will probably take it as a very nice compliment πŸ™‚ Chefy will never be the wiser!

  4. That would frustrate me too! Not so nice of a restaurant to not take the time to pre order their supply for delivery! I think you should’ve gone to the restaurant and asked to by raw, organic broccoli-two heads, please! That’s just me being snippy πŸ™‚


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