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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

We Get The Farmers Markets We Deserve

I've been participating in a discussion on the Simple Living Network about misers' disappointments with their local farmers markets. The major grumpus is that in their communities,the farmers markets have become more chic boutique shopping experiences than a frugal alternative way for urbanites to get their food. From what I have seen in the Sacramento and surrounding suburban and partly rural region,I think that the nature of each farmers market reflects the local demand.

Comparing the farmers markets in Sacramento and Davis tells me a lot about the two communities.

Sacramento's market is a drab monument to pragmatism.

Here in Sacramento, I get unbelievably nice regular vegetables and fruit for about 1/2 the price I'd get at the non-organic grocery chains, and of course, eleventy zillion times the quality. Most of the produce is not organic, BTW, but organic is usually available. This is a very practical farmers market. The biggest market in Sacramento is in the least glamorous spot imaginable, a large parking area under a freeway overpass. Not much to look at, but great cheap fruit, vegetables fish and flowers. This video shows that this is serious grocery shopping. Get a look at the variety! Sorry to admit that from looking at the shoppers, you can see this certainly is not a fashionable market. I suspect the farmers are able to move enough volume to make the day at the market worth their effort. Look at the size of the trucks in the background as well as the number of shoppers schlepping huge quantities of produce and fresh fish. For the broth inclined, you can get buckets of fish heads for about $2 per pound. I have never had the guts to try this.

Davis's market attempts to provide an exclusive luxury shopping experience.

The somewhat more posh and exclusive social-climbing town of Davis (although exactly whom they are snubbing has been a local mystery for generations), about 30 miles from Sacramento has a market more targeted towards what I like to call "the too too crowd". The U C Davis websight emphasizes how it is all about the experience and making us better people, just by shopping in a cooler venue.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.

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