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to hate people who go to farmers' markets

154 replies

kittensrockmyworld · 07/04/2013 09:39

I went past a famers market yesterday and the kids were totally sucked in by the cake stall, it was at this point that i had to drag them away due to the prices!

£5 for some chilly Jam & £10 for some pasta. Maybe I'm slightly jealous of people being able to afford it, however it is just plain annoying that people can waste so much money on the stuff!!!

OP posts:
MoominmammasHandbag · 07/04/2013 17:20

We have two local farmers markets.

One is pretty much a normally priced market selling locally grown, properly ripe fruit and veg, very cheap garden plants and extraordinarily good locally produced cheese. I am not tempted by the pies and cakes - I can do better myself.

Our other market is a proper poncetastic experience. We do lots of tasting, a judicious amount of buying and make more of a morning of it.

A note of caution. BIL works for a butcher, they take their regular meat to farmers markets and charge a premium - a lot more than in the shop.

One amazing discovery I have made recently is the habedashery stalls in our local covered market. Bloody John Lewis are making a massive mark up there!

GirlWiththeLionHeart · 07/04/2013 17:29

Would anyone mind sharing a chutney recipe? I've never made one but would love to try

StoickTheVast · 07/04/2013 17:32

Come to ours.

Two heaving carrier bags of veg for £2. Nice tea loaf/cake, 3 for £5. Meat is pricier, but we know where it comes from. Eggs £1.50 for half a dozen. Wish it was on every week!

nkf · 07/04/2013 17:34

Love that video. I think of farmers' markets more as an afternoon out rather than a place to do the weekly shop. If you really want to hate something, try Borough Market in London.

ssd · 07/04/2013 17:40

couldnt agree more op

that link posted earlier says it all, over priced ostrich steaks and wild boar sausages sold to the middle class


CombineBananaFister · 07/04/2013 17:43

Totally agree that there are 2 types of Farmers market - the shithole one with cheap genuine produce that used to be just called a market 10 yrs ago and the pretty ones with the expensive stuff which doesn't always reflect its quality but everything looks nice and twee.
They also tend to attract VERY different kinds of people but I don't hate either. Personally I slum it in the market as that's what my budget allows and I prefer substance over style.
It is depressing though, when something that's supposed to be cheap gets inflated beyond belief because it becomes the 'in' thing like pork cheeks or tripe.We live in York and there is a glut of the overly-expensive stalls during tourist events, I want to whisper that if they just pop round the corner to the shitty market there is a genuine Turkish/polish place selling far superior food at half the price, but each to their own.

Horsemad · 07/04/2013 17:44

Sparkling that clip was so funny!! Haven't ever seen that Grin
I'm reminded of our first (and last!) venture to a Farmer's Market - pushy farmer's wife told DS1 their burgers were the best and to tell his parents he must have some; to which he replied 'just 'cause you say they're the best doesn't mean they are and they're not as good as my mum's' Grin

Out of the mouths of babes!

CheCazzo · 07/04/2013 17:51

Girl I'd love to share a recipe with you but I - errr - make them up as I go along! I always have a basic idea of what I want to do - pear and walnut for instance is always a good one. The base is almost always onions, chopped and fried. I add the fruit and pour in enough vinegar to cover the ingredients by about a cm. I always add garlic, fresh, and chilli flakes (to taste) and sea salt. I find chutney takes way more salt than you think you're going to need and almost always more than recipe books tell you. Lemon juice always perks things up - it adds a different dimension to the vinegar. Ginger is another good spice to add - by taste but starting with a teaspoonful. Then cook slowly on a simmer until everything is reduced and the consistency is - Grin - chutney like! If you're using nuts add them now. Pot immediately into sterilised warm jars and seal.

LRDtheFeministDragon · 07/04/2013 17:57

See, I don't like salt in chutney at all. Maybe that's why I don't like the supermarket ones. I like lots of spices - ginger and cinnamon and pepper and coriander and a bit of cardamom, usually.

I think it is a bit like making curry, you chuck in what you like yourself.

Bought ones always seem to be incredibly sweet, too.

CheCazzo · 07/04/2013 18:36

It's all about tastes isn't it LRD. I don't add salt when cooking normally - or very little anyway - but I find the taste of chutney unbearable without it. And I do add sugar - oops - forgot to say that up there - because I loathe and detest vinegar with a passion which is odd for a chutney maker!

LRDtheFeministDragon · 07/04/2013 18:42

I love vinegar. I drown salads.

That may be a reason I wasn't wild about the dinky little bottles they had out today.

flatpackhamster · 07/04/2013 18:51


I like the idea of Farmers' Markets but the reality never seems to match the hype. If the farmer is selling directly to the shopper then they are cutting out (several) middle-men and their profit margins - yet that saving never seems to get passed to the customer. If anything, it's more expensive than supermarket.confused

The reason is the price of the animal. Here's roughly how it works for a pig:

Cost of rearing pig: £60
Price wholesaler will pay for pig: £55ish
Price of slaughter, jointing: £10ish
Price of pig joints as sold to supermarket: £70
Supermarket costs - transport, storage etc: £25
Price supermarket charges for all the bits in total: £120
Supermarket profit: £25 per carcass

Those figures are a bit all over the place, but that's roughly how it works.

So the pig farmer makes, very roughly, a loss on each carcass if he sells to the wholesaler who sells to the supermarket.

A farmer who's rearing for the markets pays for the rearing cost, the slaughter and jointing. Then there's his costs for storing the carcass, his costs for running a vehicle, his time spent at the markets (at least 5 hours including travel), fuel getting to and from the markets, the cost of staff, a website, marketing.

However, he's still able to make a profit because if the pig costs £60 to rear, and all the other work costs about £50, he can sell the bits for about £140 and still make a profit on each individual animal.

So the prices will be more expensive, because you as a consumer are paying the real cost of the whole process, not the artificial cost that the supermarket imposes. With the artificial cost, the supermarket profits, you do OK, the wholesaler does OK, but the farmer goes out of business eventually.

Once you've found a farmer whose products you like, you can build up a relationship with them and stuff will be cheaper. I get decent discounts (5-10%) now from my farmers because they know I'll be back week, because I care about what they do and I'm interested in seeing them succeed.

pointythings · 07/04/2013 20:11

We have a farmers market round ours every month. The stalls change, the food is very very good and not much more than supermarket prices - and you can get some things you can't get elsewhere.

Most of all, DH and I bought some cake off a stall once. The list of ingredients was what did it - it was short. Flour, eggs, sugar, butter, lemon juice. That was it. That's what cake should be.

It's not all poncy overpriced shit.

freddiefrog · 07/04/2013 20:20

We have 2 types here too

1 which the locals go to, is held in the village hall, has local meat, milk, eggs, fruit, veg, pies, cheese, honey, etc and is fab quality, locally produced food and supermarket-ish prices (our nearest supermarket is 10 miles away so once you've added petrol it's not really anymore expensive)

The other is more touristy and very poncey - eye wateringly expensive cupcakes, handmade cards, crafty stuff, expensive ready meals, etc, etc.

I go to the locals one, quick in/out at an ungodly hour on a Saturday morning.

nooka · 07/04/2013 20:24

It's all about what the market can bear though isn't it. Your cheap and cheerful market stall person knows that what his/her customers want is a decent price and a bit of banter. The market has probably run for many years and the customer base probably has mostly shopped their for years, although competition from supermarkets with their huge buying power may have run many of them out of business.

Your fancy pants market aims to offer it's customers a different sort of impression that they are getting a good deal, competition is from specialist stores, high end supermarkets and it's all about added value /social cachet of the specialist product. The premium comes from the 'poncyness' if you like, and products will need to have the appropriate bells and whistles and the price to go with it.

What you pay for products is often not very closely related to the cost of raw ingredients, whether that is food or clothes or fancy goods.

stubbornstains · 07/04/2013 20:35

I think it depends where you live, and what your local market will bear, as it were.

Wafty areas of London= insane prices

Chronically skint areas (like where I live)= fairly decent prices.

The cheapest fish I can find are the more unfashionable species sold by the fisherman's wife at the farmer's market in our local town, and the veg at the one in our village (yep, lucky us) is about half supermarket prices.

I once met one of the yummiest of our local yummy mummies in ASDA. She blushed and was at pains to tell me that of course she'd never normally shop at there, she always shopped at the farmers' market, it was just that they'd just got back from their holiday yadda yadda.....I did rather PMSL, as well as LOLing and ROFLing a tad.

GirlWiththeLionHeart · 07/04/2013 21:15

Thank you Che the pear sounds lovely. I bought a pear plough mans chutney and it was amazing

MoonlightandRoses · 07/04/2013 21:18

According to Wikipedia Morten has a vocal range of up to five octaves - he also now has five children!

How time flies.

[Wanders off before derailing thread]

P.S. - YABU - agree with everyone on the 'proper' vs 'poncey' varieties though - there's one near us with a random mix, (i.e. organic vegetables from far flung corners with far flung prices combined with local meats, cheeses, ciders etc., on a par with or for less than the supermarket)

RevoltingPeasant · 07/04/2013 21:29

I sort of agree about the 'little bits of stuff in jars with gingham ribbon for £15.95' that takes up about 30% of my local farmers' market.

But it's hard to know how to support local businesses properly if you don't live in a village and are pushed for time.

We buy bread from a local baker every week and we get a veg box from a local farm, so that's our bread and veggies. We buy pretty much everything else at Sainsbury's. No meat, and we always try to buy local fish (live on the coast). There probably is a decent fishmonger's in town but I haven't found it yet.

I just don't have time to make chutney etc so once a month, buying cheese from a small local shop with a stall on, or chutney, is not the biggest waste of money I can think of.

LisaMed · 07/04/2013 23:59

The entire family are just recovering from food poisoning from pies from a farmer's market last Sunday. It was a poncetastic one.

LisaMed · 08/04/2013 00:05

I costed it out, and it just isn't cost effective to make jam generally if you have to buy the fruit, even allowing for using recycled coffee jars. As we have jam about once every other month I get the value stuff from Asda.

We go to a farm shop that sells home butchered meat. For anyone in West Yorkshire it is Haigh's Farm Shop - absolutely brilliant and a family run business. I just can't afford to buy the stuff in the farmer's markets. It is not that I don't want to support local - I do, and work really hard to keep my pennies spending locally. It's just that I actually don't have enough money to buy the meat from the farmer's market. The pork pies that made us ill were a massive indulgence.

Horsemad · 08/04/2013 07:06

Did you report your food poisoning to Environmental Health?
There may be some flaw in the seller's production methods that is allowing for cross contamination which could be rectified thus saving others from your horrible experience.

everlong · 08/04/2013 07:23

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Khaleese · 08/04/2013 07:38

The cupcake stall at our market has a sign saying good cakes use expensive ingredients. Cheap cakes use cheap ingredients.

It made me think about the cakes i make at home, they are expensive to make. You couldn't make them taste so good without quality ingredients.

I bet the stall holders don't make lots on them before you even look at their time.

thegreylady · 08/04/2013 07:45

I love farmers markets too. We go once a month. I do my own cake making but the meat and veg are top quality and we usually buy pies and jam too.

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