People go to farmers markets for many reasons. The festive yet wholesome atmosphere makes us feel good about our communities. We might bump into that person we’ve been meaning to call, and perhaps buy a bar of soap. A burrito, perhaps, and a fresh-squeezed lemonade. And sometimes, we even want to buy some produce. A bag of salad mix, perhaps, and hope it doesn’t wilt before we skateboard home. But produce shopping is becoming an increasingly rare act […]
“For some growers, farmers markets just aren’t what they used to be,” notes the headline. Zach Lester, a Virginia grower who sells at DC’s trendy Dupont Circle market told the Post he was down $50,000 a year from a decade ago, when he did about $200,000 in sales. This decrease comes in spite of the fact that the market is more popular than ever.
He didn’t blame the competition for his woes; he blamed the hipsters for sucking the oxygen out of the market. That’s his word, not mine, and it’s a slippery one to define. To be clear, by hipster I mean people who go to farmers market and don’t buy produce. They may or may not have an epic ‘stache, or a shirt from a machine shop with a name patch that says “Joey,” and may or may not be sipping an espresso drink from a disposable cup.
They are probably deep in conversation, especially if they care more about the scene than the cilantro. They might purchase a breakfast taco, but no basil. Maaaaybe a pint of strawberries, but no rhubarb. And in their unhurried schmoozing they clog the market aisles like arterial plaque, impeding the flow of serious shoppers who are looking for some actual damn produce. When you factor in the slow-rolling strollers, sometimes two abreast, and perhaps an impromptu reunion from the previous night’s battle of the jam bands, it’s a recipe for gridlock. And that’s assuming you can even find parking.