Friday, August 03, 2007

Those Who Would Like to See the Farmers' Market Include Actual Farmers Should Be Concerned about Yesterday's Election

I have already alluded to the reinforcement of the Metro Council status quo by voters, given yesterday's election results. With the reelection of "old" guard patrons like Eric Crafton and a September at-Large run-off that could return Charlie Tygard and J.B. Loring to the Council, there is distinct possibility that the Metro Council could move to end the recent push in the Farmers' Market to place actual farmers, rather than middle-men resellers in the stalls.

Any initiative to attract organic farmers might be discouraged, too. Franklin's Farmers' Market has done more to attract the area's organic farmers to its stalls to meet the growing demand for that type of produce than our Farmers' Market has. I have to believe that the backwardness here is due to the fact that the resellers at our market have been entrenched there for as many as 50 years. They have their own little cartel, which some short-time vendors tell me are not above dumping rotting vegetables by newer stalls to discourage customers.

Likewise, one has to wonder whether the old guard patrons on the Metro Council will fight for the reseller cartel at the expense of real farmers and organic produce. I think it will come down to how Erica Gilmore decides to lead on this problem in her district. It will be a real challenge for her given that she is a freshman and as such is predisposed to rely more on longer term members. Here's hoping that she can make a real effort to push for the quality offered at the Franklin Farmers' Market. There is no reason why ours cannot be better than theirs.

1 comment:

  1. Amen! There needs to be a new standard at the Farmer's Market. Out with the old ways.