Hi blog readers. Below is my letter to the ‘Lot Manager’ of the Johnson City Farmer’s Market. If you too care about local food, please consider sending him and the market board your concerns. Rising food and energy prices affect us all. Buying and eating seasonal foods that don’t require trucking across country, or via Trans-Atlantic jets can enable us all to eat well, regardless of what our collective futures may hold. Thanks for ‘walking your talk’ and helping build a stronger, more resilient, LOCAL food system~Sam
Hello Mr. Benfield!
As a new resident of Johnson City, I would like to tell you how much I’m enjoying visiting the market each week. But I’d like to ask why your produce vendors are allowed to bring in produce that they haven’t grown themselves, some of which I suspect is not even from this area? I recently bought some loose apples out of a bushel basket at your market, and when I got them home found one in the bag that had a supermarket type sticker attached to it with a bar code on it that said “Ginger Gold Apple”! Reading your vendor bylaws, I see that Article 2 states (in part) that “…The objective is to help and to promote small farm interests.” Do Ginger Gold Apples purchased from a commercial orchardist, perhaps several states away meet that objective? I think not and I wonder if other shoppers are feeling ‘deceived’ as well.
I truly do want to continue to support your farmers and producers, but I also want to support a local food economy. Providing shoppers with LOCALLY grown foods (say, within a 50 mile radius) offers us the opportunity to connect with the growers, learn how our food is grown, and provides us with ready access to the freshest foods possible. Farmer’s Markets all over the country require their vendors to adhere to this policy, and have enjoyed much success in doing so.
As you can see in the map above, Johnson City is surrounded by no less than six other counties! With a new, permanent home on the horizon, I do hope that you and your board will reconsider your own governing policy and that 2013 will be the year of supporting those of us that live and eat RIGHT HERE!
Thanks so much for your efforts.
PS I would also love to see your website updated with current event and board members’ information, as well as a working Facebook link.
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