Being that it is Tuesday and on Tuesday I talk about gardening I have a rather disturbing story to tell. Last weekend I went to the farmers market to get veggies etcetera for this weeks meals. I stopped off at my favorite hole-in-the-wall breakfast place and off I went.
I make my way down to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Market, located off Yorkmount road in Charlotte NC. I love this one, it one of the bigger farmers markets in the city and it is certainly the most popular. As I walk around I see all shades of green. Bok choy, asparagus, collard greens, beans and so on.
As I make my way down the rows, navigating the crowd I see out of the corner of my eye. There it was, a vendor taking strawberries out of mass packed plastic containers and dumping them into these green cardboard buckets. They then took these and placed them in their stall labeled “LOCAL NORTH CAROLINA PRODUCE”.
The way it is setup you can walk behind the stalls so I walked over and took a peek at these plastic containers. “product of Mexico, packaged in the USA”. Local washing is where you brand items as local produced when it is not.
As I walked around I found this to be the case for so many and not just strawberries, it was practically everything. I found one guy who grew asparagus in his garden in Charlotte and I gladly handed him my four dollars.
I began to think about how this came to be or why this came to be. I realized that smaller farmers simply cannot produce enough to meet the demands and the variety that people want. This is why I think they have to buy mass produced items and sell them. But I find that they lie and brand them as local is objectionable
What do you all think about this practice? Do you see this at your local farmers market?