A beautiful summer day led us to travel an hour to shop at the Ithaca, New York, farmers market (and do other things around the Ithaca area).
"Locally produced within 30 miles", the entrance sign announces. And, as far as I can tell (with my knowledge of what would be ripe and what would not be ripe now), their vendors are living up to their sign.
Swiss chard and fennel (in fact, we are eating our own swiss chard right now).
Garlic scapes, young onions, peas.
Not pictured - senposai collards, which we will have tonight. Kohlrabi. Currents. Raspberries. Lettuce. Such bounty, for which I am grateful.
So, what does this all have to do with disappointment?
One of our local farmers markets, near where I live in Binghamton, New York used to be all local.
But, last week, it transitioned into a new regional market located indoors. It will be year round (hurray!). It's been a long time coming.
But, when I saw some of what was for sale, my heart sank.
Full sized tomatoes, for one thing, which would not be something you'd expect here at the end of June. Well, I said to myself, maybe they were grown in a greenhouse.
But, today, after I returned from Ithaca, I went to the new website for the market. In the FAQ, lots of questions. But, interestingly, one important question was missing: "Is everything local?"
Why is the question missing? Because, perhaps, not everything is local? And sure enough, not in the FAQs, but in the vendor application, it said:
"80 percent of all products sold by a vendor at the Market must be grown, produced, raised and/or made by the vendor. The remaining 20 percent of products sold at the Market may be products purchased by resale. All resale items must be labeled with the original source." It goes on to say that the Manager may ask for verification of this 20% maximum.
I, for one, am disappointed. If I wanted items not produced locally, I would go to a supermarket.
And, why was the information buried in the vendors application, and not declared in the FAQs?
Well, we'll see what happens as the summer progresses.
If you go to farmers markets (in some areas, called tailgate markets), do you have an expectation that the items sold be produced or grown locally?