The best part of the farmers’ market (besides seeing our friends) is the last 10 minutes. That’s when the crowds have mostly gone, vendors are chatty, and with only a few minutes left, everyone starts drifting around to their neighbors’ booths with armloads of produce to trade. It’s like a food swapmeet. Here we see last night’s haul of groceries acquired by barter: hard goat cheese, hummus, feta, eggs, blueberries, fresh milk, strawberries, and raspberries.
I might add that the hot food vendors participate, as well. Not shown is the tasty bowl of chili that I ate, and the hot panini that made Emily’s dinner earlier in the evening. Those vendors have shut down their grills by end of market, but dutifully drop by our stand to select some tasty veggies to take home with them. Some nights, we even trade for things like wine.
This all got me thinking… though we clearly don’t (yet) produce all the groceries we eat, how does our annual grocery bill compare with our overall produce sales? A little time with the accounting software came up with the answer: gross farm sales for the last 12 months is about $500 less than our entire grocery expenditure for the same time period. Wow! Who knew? And I expect that our overall revenue this year will increase enough that we will likely produce more than we eat. So, effectively, we can say that our garden feeds us… just that for now, we still have to use some green paper as a trade intermediary.