I just went to the Ballard Farmer's Market in Seattle. I've been to quite a few other markets in the Seattle area in the past and just updated my Farmers Market list.
From this I've decided I'm just not rich enough to buy produce from farmers. It's cheaper to have it picked in some foreign country by paid workers (although probably not paid a lot), put on trucks by paid workers, driven to the coast by paid drivers, loaded on ships by paid labor, shipped halfway across the world consuming large amounts of fuel, unloaded by paid laborers (making U.S. wages), driven to warehouses by paid drivers, stocked by paid warehouse people, trucked to my local supermarket by paid teamsters, stocked by union grocery stockers and sold to me with grocery store markup. All of this is half of what the farmers want at the local farmers markets. Tell me there isn't something wrong with this model? Am I nuts to think paying 6x as much for a dozen eggs is a bit crazy?
What about collecting eggs from chickens is so difficult? We wave the organic flag but in the past all our food was organic and it didn't cost this much. You feed the chicken corn or let it dig around in the dirt outside, you pick up the eggs and you take them to market. This costs $6 a dozen, really? After reading Omnivores Dilemma I have less tolerance for the Organic farmers. You CAN farm organically and do it for near the same price as chemical farming. You really can, it's been proven. What has also been proven is if you slap the name organic on something people will pay 5x the price of normal, hence the farmer's market prices.
Another trend I noticed at the Ballard Farmer's market is all of the local cheese companies making crappy cheese for $16-$20/lb. For that I can buy a really nice imported French cheese. I saw someone making spongy parmesan (spongy parmesan? I had to do a double take) for $16/lb which incidentally is the same price I pay for wonderful aged parmesan from Parma. We're not talking about underpaid workers in a third world country here, this stuff is from Italy! I understand that in a market economy the correct price is the one that people will pay but I hate greed with a passion. It makes me want to start a farm using George Naylers techniques and run them all out of business.