Monday, December 14, 2009

Stepford farmers market?

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.


  1. Chard Lady,

    Your wish has come true; you can participate in Locavore Lite 2010 and not ever shop at a farmers market. We, the Locavore Lite team, received a constructive suggestion for improving our "ground rules". It was suggested, and we adopted a modification that reads as follows; a participant will "one time per month, or a minimum of 12 times in 2010, do one, or any combination of the following: a) shop at a farmers’ market, b) receive produce from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmer, c) harvest food from a local farm, garden or yard."

    I hope you will now sleep easier, harvest from your garden with more joy, and encourage others to participate in Locavore Lite 2010! :)

    Would you consider asking each of the Thousand Oaks City Councilmembers to become a participant of Locavore Lite?


  2. Woo Hoo!!! I am in, and looking forward to a great mostly-local 2010.