December 31, 2008
Farmer's Markets Booming
by Brent Warner, farmcentre.com
If you want to get a handle on just how hot local food has become, look for the ATM at a farmers’ market.
In Saskatoon, I’ve seen customers lined up a dozen deep, many already loaded down with purchases. They’ve come, spent their cash and now they are lining up for more. ATMs at larger markets will dispense tens of thousands of dollars on a Saturday, but it’s a scene played out on a smaller scale in markets across the country.
There’s one farm family at the Saskatoon market that began selling artisan bread a few years ago. They’ve now upped their production to 700 loaves and still sell every loaf they bring. At up to $5 a loaf. In two hours or less. There’s another fellow at the same market who began selling his Angus beef four years ago. When he started, a box of beef would last him the day. Now he has eight freezers and slaughters up to 10 cows a month
I have been observing farmers’ markets for nearly 30 years and the last few years have been like nothing I’ve ever seen. There is a tidal wave of consumer interest in local food and farm-fresh products, and markets across the country are scrambling to find enough farmers to meet the demand. more