Nick and I live in Capitol Hill, but I actually don’t shop that often at Eastern Market. Shock! FOR SHAME! On weekends it’s crazy crowded, has too many craft vendors and not enough farmers. Eastern Market is not a producer only market, meaning I could go to the warehouse, pick up produce come to Eastern Market and sell it to you. I will encourage you though, to check out the guy who sells eggs in one of the first outdoor stalls on the left that you’ll see when you’re walking from Pennsylvania Ave to the market-he’s great.
This article does a great job of explaining why it’s important to ask questions at your local farmer’s market.
But the real point of this, was to do a bit of comparison shopping. A few items are very similarly priced to grocery store items and a few are not. In fact, I was surprised to see that sometimes the Farmer’s Market is less expensive!
For example, crazy tasty, juicy, fuzzy farmers market (FM) peaches are $2.50/lb, fuzzless rocks at grocery store (GS) are $2.49/lb unless on sale. FM Green Peppers are .75/each, or 3 for $2, GS Green Peppers are at minimum $1 each. FM Cantaloupe $5, GS Cantaloupe $5. FM Cherry tomatoes $4/box GS Cherry tomatoes $3.99/box. Whole Foods faceless farm possibly pastured chicken $9/lb for breasts, FM chicken breast from farmer who chatted with me about chicken husbandry for at least 5 min… $9/lb for breasts. FM Bi-color picked that day corn .50/per ear, GS white corn .25/per ear.
Then there are a few items that I just can’t find at the grocery store, like Rainbow Chard, Currants, and different varieties of my favorite fruits and vegetables (see peaches above).
My shopping trip included
Eight ears of corn
Three green peppers
One bunch of rainbow chard
One patty pan squash
One punnet of purple potatoes
One whole pastured chicken
For a total of $43
Food prices clearly differ all over, and I’d be interested in seeing what your farmer’s markets and grocery stores compared to as well!