One of the great things about shopping at local farmer’s markets is that the farmer or artisan who grew or created the item you are purchasing is most likely, standing right there in front of you. You can’t say THAT about ANY of the big box stores!
If you have ever created (or grown) something you know just how much you love to share about that thing. Trust us, the local farmers and artisans who are available with their goods are just the same and they will be all too happy to talk with you about the items they have for sale. For many, this is their livelihood, and they are passionate about what they do. Farming is hard work; they wouldn’t do it if they didn’t love it.
It’s not just the farmers who are working hard to provide great products. The artisans that are at a farmers market have also worked hard to hone their craft. Just ask any of the bakers who were up at un-godly hours to bake the goods they bring. There are artists who are working hard to get the perfect photo shot, or create the perfect clay creation.
A huge part of what makes a farmers markets special is getting to know the vendors. Learning what it takes to create really good pickles or hearing about life on the farm. And maybe it is old school but a true honestly earned farmer’s tan is a sight for sore eyes in this day and age.
Unfortunately, there are others who take advantage of the farmer’s markets. They bring items that they did not create. They try to pass those items off as their own, but they really were not involved in the creative process at all. And not only does this deceive the public, but it takes away from the hard work of others who have labored to bring their creations to the market.
We try our best to be sure that the items brought to the Carolina Beach Farmers Market are the ‘real deal’. We try to assure that each artisan (or artist for the expanded holiday markets) and farmer actually makes or grows their products. We make every attempt to be sure there is skill and knowledge packed into everything available for sale at the Carolina Beach Farmers Market. We work hard to make sure each artisan is taking raw ingredients and making their product and not just reworking an idea or craft really created by someone else.
However, it is also important as the consumer to ask questions. Here are a few of our favorite:
- Did you make this yourself?
- How did you make it?
- Did you mix the flour, butter, milk, etc that went into them?
- Did you grow these vegetables?
- Tell me about your farm?
- What sorts of pesticides do you use?
- How did you create these *insert craft item here*?
- What made you start?
When you ask questions you may find that the answers will enlighten and inspire you. Because we can almost guarantee you that every vendor there has a passionate story about how they got started.
So, the next time you are at a market, take advantage of the opportunity to find out more about the person behind the produce. You will not be sorry, and will probably learn something in the process.