Friday, August 13, 2010
I adore food. I love it. And I really really love buying it on the cheap.
And my tomatoes. I have a confession-- I am a tomato freak. Always have been. Probably always will be. I love them. I eat them like apples, halved and salted, broiled, sun-dried, boiled in a soup, juiced, in salsa and in sauce.
I bought 75 pounds of tomatoes (I washed them all and had to use the dishwasher as a drying rack!) at the Jacksonville Farmer's Market on Beaver Street for $36. Of course, I spent three days processing them and cooking the sauce. Then I canned it all. Well, all that I could get away from my family.
I also visited the Beaches Green Market.
The "beach" in me loves the Beaches market; live hippy-esque music, organic foods and natural soaps, fresh-baked bread and homemade granola. Yum!
But the "cheap" in me couldn't stand it. I was amazed to see people buying the expensive produce. It's overpriced because the vendors travel to bring their goods to the beach and the venue charges rent for booths. I understand this, but, for me, it just isn't worth it. You'd be better off to shop in air-conditioned Publix.
I have heard of another beaches market that is starting up in Atlantic Beach. They are not charging booth rent, so the atmosphere should be more grass-roots. When I get more information, I'll report back.
So, if I was Beach Chic, I would ride my bike (or drive my future Prius) to the Beaches Green Market. And the downtown Farmer's Market is certainly cheap. To make it Beach Cheap, carpool with some friends. The 30-minute drive will be more fun, and you can buy in bulk to get the best deal and then split everything up later. Make sure you take a minivan to haul all that loot away.
Happy farmer's marketing!