The vast majority of people involved in farmer’s markets are not in it for the money. However, according to Mike Myers, Program Assistant at the nonprofit Alchemist which helps promote year-round farmers’ markets, buying produce at the open air venues can save lots of hard-won cash. As Mike explains, vegetables can be cheaper because most vendors haul product from agricultural sources close to Sacramento. Vendors, then, have less overhead charges associated with shipping and fuel. This allows them to offer the wonderful eggplants and radishes at cheaper cost. Perhaps more importantly, at farmers’ markets seasonal vegetables and other products often emerge in bumper quantities. The larger supply means lower cost and benefits to both grower and consumer.
A number of the Alchemist markets which Myers supports provide so-called Market Match incentives or market vouchers when purchasing fruits or vegetables. Among Sacramento locations for this program is the popular Florin Road Farmers’ Market in the Sears Parking Lot at 5901 Florin Road on Thursdays between 8 AM and 12 PM. Another location for Market Match is the Country Club Plaza Farmers’ Market at 2310 Watt Avenue which is open on Saturdays in the morning. At that market, say “hi” to Don Anderson who navigates the “ins and outs” of the Market Match program on behalf of the nearby Grace Presbyterian Church (Pastor, Warren Barns) which provides volunteers to assist Alchemist in running the market.