MAKING THE HARD CALLS
As Farmers' Market managers, it's our job to monitor what's happening at our markets so you - as shoppers - can feel confident that you know what you're buying.
For us this week, that means we'll probably be taking a farm stand out of our Thursday North Park event that has been there since before we took over this particular market. The man who runs that stand is hard-working, reliable, and personable. This will probably affect his income, and he likely has a family to support. That's why decisions like these are not made lightly.
Unfortunately, validating suspicions that we had started to develop, the County Agriculture Department's most recent inspection of that vendor (I'm hesitant to say farmer right now) turned up several issues that can't be ignored.
The letter of the Direct Marketing law requires that farmers, their immediate families or bonafide employees sell only what is produced on their farm, so that the origin and growing conditions can be verified. Since Certified Farmers Markets in San Diego are often combined with a weekly event that includes non-farmers, non-certified produce sales can be included in a different area of the event, but we believe that generally violates the spirit of the law. If you buy fruits and vegetables at our markets, we want you to be buying them from the farmer. Click "Read more" below for the rest of the story...