The business of reselling merchandise, especially produce, is becoming ever more pervasive in our beloved farmers markets, small town and big city alike. Your purchases may be no more beneficial for the local economy than a trip to the grocery store!
As produce farmers who work hard to make a living off of our land by growing food organically for our neighbors, the deception of (specifically) "farmers" who buy wholesale produce at auctions and elsewhere from across state and country lines to sell at their "farmers market" stand hits home hard. The result is a crushing blow not only to the local economy, but in broader terms, the environment that suffers from the unnecessary effects of all those "food miles."
Seasonal farmers markets are a far better bet if you're looking for truly local produce, but even they are not all created equal. The best in the south-central PA area (in our opinion) is one that we have been a part of for 15 years - Farmers on the Square in Carlisle. A board comprised of a variety of different vendors and community members strives, through thoughtful discussion and enforcement, to uphold the integrity of a true FARMERS market. "Local" is not just trendy marketing, but a reality embraced (and guarded), and every vendor must make or grow everything they sell.
After all, according to farmer and philosopher Wendell Berry, "How we eat determines, to a great extent, how the world is used."