I went to my new local Farmer's Market today. I guess all the real Ventura county farmers were at the Ojai market. Only a few veggie booths had food that looked real. Several fruit booths were staffed with knowledgeable and friendly merchants, but the fruit was mostly from Northern California. There was an egg guy from San Diego.
What I found most unusual is a complete absence of signage. These farmers and their farms have no names, no business cards, no addresses, no organic certificates on display.
Yes, yes, all the strawberries were from Oxnard, they said.
Then again, I stopped at a booth with all sorts of overpriced candied nuts, and artificially-colored dried fruit. When I asked about origin, the lady with the blank stare told me they were from Lancaster. I mentioned that they couldn't all have been grown in Lancaster, and asked which foods were grown there. She said most of them were. When I asked which foods specifically, she admitted that only the cashews had been grown in Lancaster.
I still haven't decided if I am going to join the Locavore Lites in 2010. I will have to agree to visit a farmer's market at least once a month. I sure wish there was a way to be a Locavore Lite while enjoying my own local vegetables instead of patronizing fake markets.
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