Are All Produce At Farmers’ Markets Grown Locally ?

I love Farmers’ Market. In summer I often buy vegetables from the Farmers’ Markets in St. Paul or Woodbury to supplement what I have from my own garden.

According to the St. Paul Farmers’ Market website, “All produce must be locally grown. Value added products must be produced locally using local products. You are not allowed to buy and re-sell produce at any of our locations.”

But I have alwasy wondered about whether all produce are really locally grown. I saw vendors selling produce from neatly stacked cases in June when they are still in early growing season in Minnesota.

A few days ago I talked to the owner of a wholesale store in St. Paul. He told me he sells produce to vendors for resale at Farmers’ Markets, because our growing season is too short in MN.

I am not sure where the owner of the wholesale store gets his produce. I think it’s very likely that not all of the produce he sells are grown locally.

So if he sells his produce to the vendors for resale at Farmers’ Markets, it’s safe to say that not all produce are home grown by the vendors themselves. It’s possible that not all of the produce sold at Farmers’ Markets are locally grown.    

I don’t know the answer for sure. I am still wondering “Are all produce at Farmers’ Markets grown locally as required?”




2 Responses

  1. Joel Horne

    Kansas City, where I lived for some time,has a very large and very good farmer’s market. During the harvest season for local vegetables, many of the stalls are filled with locally grown produce. However, when out of season, fewer vendors are on site, and the produce available is from other sources. The concept that all products at all farmer’s markets are local is not accurate.

    1. Joel,
      What you described is probably common practice. It makes sense. I found “All produce must be locally grown” misleading and hard to follow.

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