Saturday, July 18, 2015

Farmer's Market Etiquette

Working at the Farmer's Market, you hear and see it all! Some things that people will do there at the market are things I never even thought of until working there. Some everyday things that most of us do in stores and markets are RUINING your fruit and the fruit others buy. Here is some Farmer's Market Etiquette.

  1. Do NOT touch the peaches. I know you like to know what you're buying but in order for it to be good, you can't touch every peach in every basket. Peaches bruise when you touch them and if you touch all five in the basket that you buy, that's fine but when you touch every peach in all the baskets looking for that picture perfect peach you're ruining them for other customers. What do I suggest? When they're being bagged up look at them. If you see a bad one that I don't see, tell me, I will ask if you want a more ripe one or less ripe then find one out of the box it came from. It keeps my peaches on display from messing up and keeps you happy. If by chance neither of us catch it, you can use more ripe peaches to make peach ice cream. (Vanilla ice cream+ peaches sliced into cubes and mixed together). 
  2. Do NOT pull back every ear of corn. It messes up the corn and will dry it out quicker. Again, I understand a couple ears but some people like to pull back all the ones on my table trying to find that ear of corn from God himself. If you see a worm, that just means that they haven't been heavily sprayed with chemicals. Just cut off the tips at each end and use the center part. If the kernels are scattered but quite big it means the weather was dry. We can't help that God withheld the rain a few weeks. 
  3. Do NOT insult the produce. This goes for those people who aren't buying anything but complain that the peaches are ugly, the corn looks nasty, the squash looks old. Between hot weather, low levels of rain and being boxed up in 90 degree weather, no it will not look like Walmart's display. But once it's cooked up it will have the same great taste. Besides, the farmer will slowly get more and more moody the more insults you slap him in the face with. 
  4. Do NOT ask for a sample unless you're planning on buying. For example, we had a man buy watermelon from our competitor then come to us, say he was buying a watermelon and got a sample. Another man tied to cut open a watermelon then when he was told no he tried telling us he would take the watermelon to his car, cut it, try it and bring it back. If it worked like that, we wouldn't have any business.
Now that I have told you the major do NOT's, why don't I tell you how to act when coming to the market.

  • Ask us what we like or think. I have tried almost everything on my table, if you ask I will tell you what it reminds me of. I will tell you how it tastes and what type of texture it has on the inside. If you don't ask, I will assume you know what it tastes like. 
  • Be respectful. People that work at the market have feelings too and if you insult what we are selling it will hurt our feelings especially if we have the opportunity to watch it grow or even help get it to grow. 
  • Tell me stories. I love hearing abut your recipes, stories from when you were little and went to your grandmother's every Sunday to pick figs or plums. Tell me your memories of the food that I am selling. Tell me funny stories bout how when you were ten and the watermelon exploded on the picnic table and covered everyone.
  • Be understanding. I can't help alot of things, I need you to be patient with me while I get The Farmer over to explain better. I come from the city, I know very little about peas and what color soups they make or how to cook fried chicken. I'm learning but I need you to be understanding that I wasn't always around country folk like this. 
  • Understand that if you mention a recipe, I like when people tell me how to do it too, not just tell me to google it then leave. 
I work at the Farmer's Market but I like to know you, I like knowing what you like, what you don't like, and I even like coaxing you to get out of your comfort zone to try new foods. I'm not in this for the money, but rather just to meet new friends and be around good food and people. For me, this is a learning experience not a business opportunity.

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