Russ Parsons looks beyond the farmers market
In an adaptation of his keynote address at the Small Farms Conference, Russ Parsons praises the farmers market — an institution that has had a "revolutionary effect" — but also calls it "one of the most inefficient business plans ever devised." He notes some of the flaws: they are only open a few hours a week, are often located in out of the way places, and require farmers to spend time on the road or standing at the stand making change instead of working in the field. To make the supply of great produce from great farmers more easily available to the public, Parsons has several ideas, including building permanent structures, locating markets at transit hubs, or creating mobile markets that sell produce at many locations in an area (Ed. note: using Twitter, of course, to announce their location). He also praises the Hollywood farmers market's installation of a commercial kitchen nearby where farm-fresh produce can be cooked for sale at the market, or farmers can convert their produce to products like jams, potato chips, and so on. (Los Angeles Times)
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