The fresh market sights, smells, tastes and sounds take on a whole new meaning now that I occasionally work at local farmers markets with friends.
They sell boutique hand made chocolates, coffee and hot chocolate drinks at several Farmers Markets around central Victoria where I currently live. It has been interesting to go along and see how it all works from the other side – normally I only go as a customer.
Regardless of where we are going it seems I always have to get up really really early which is a challenge at times, more especially in the very hot or very cold weather.
When we arrive we find other stallholders busy putting up trailers, tents, counters etc. There is a hub of activity with people who know each other shouting out hello as everyone hurries to get ready for the first wave of early bird customers.
We try to be ready particularly early as the other stallholders appreciate a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate once they are set up. The idea is to make sure you get every possible customer on the day.
Farmers Markets offer fresh Vegetables and Farmers Flowers
The fresh market products on offer are just harvested vegetables, fruit, wine, meat, chocolates of course, pies, jams etc. I find a lot of the produce is ‘added value’ items where the raw vegetables and fruit have been made into something else.
The people selling the fruit and vegetables do a roaring trade but I suspect the people who have added value items to sell make a larger profit on the day.
Not all of the fruit and vegetables are sold by the actual grower. Sometimes people have gone to the grower or packing shed and bought a lot of ‘seconds’ and take them to the market to sell. There is nothing wrong in this, just make sure you are getting first class produce though, not seconds.
Often I see people buy produce on a whim, they get caught up in the moment of being at the market and just spend, spend spend!
It is important to really take a good look at what you are buying as I think certain items can be overpriced and not necessarily first class quality. It might not be the fresh market produce you were expecting.
Like all things in life it is up to the consumer to make an informed decision. Many shoppers have the belief ALL produce is going to be cheaper than the supermarket but this is not always the case.
The day goes so quickly though and the crowds seem to come in surges. One minute you are daydreaming and the next there is a queue of people wanting to be served.
Our markets start about 7.00 in the morning and finish about 2.00pm. Even though it’s not a long time at the market, as such, it is quite tiring. By the time we pack up and get back home it has been a long day. Each time I come home loaded down with heaps of produce I bought from other stallholders though.
Last time I came home with wine, cheese, eggs, vegetables, olive oil and some jam.
I always feel it’s a bit like Christmas morning when I get home and unpack all the goodies.
The fresh market products look good, taste good and are good – what more could I ask.