I love veggies! Roberto took this picture of me showing off my newest farmer’s market find – this beautiful head of green cabbage that was a dollar. Roberto loved the expression of “pure joy” on my face, showing off the latest foodie find! I am a HUGE geek.

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Okay, as you all know I am a big, huge fan of the Farmer’s market here in Saint Augustine, Florida. I am beginning to feel like their poster child because I talk about it so much on this blog! Roberto and I go at least twice a month and have produce for the whole month.

Lately, we have been eating very little but vegetables and fruit. We supplement with beans and grains from the store, of course, but with anticipation of spring and summer we are eating less and less meat. Plus with food costs going up we are trying to make the best of our food budget, especially with our wedding coming up in a few weeks!

So I decided to do a geeky Farmer’s Market experiment…after the market, we went to the grocery store, our local Publix supermarket and compared prices. Here is the breakdown for you (first price is Farmer’s Market price and the second is the Grocery Store):

Item: Farmer’s Market: Grocery:

Beets: $2.50 per bunch (including greens) VS.  $5 (2 beets)

Spinach: $2.50 (plastic grocery bag full) VS.  $3.29 (salad bag)

Brussel Sprouts: $2 (1 lb.)  VS.  $3.26 (1 lb.)

Romaine Lettuce: $2 (huge head) VS.  $3.99 (3 tiny hearts)

Sweet Potatoes: $2 for 3 large VS.  $.99/lb

Red Potatoes: $3 (about a lb) VS.  $4/lb

Vidalia Onion: $1 (one LARGE) VS.  $1.29/lb

Roma Tomatoes: $2 (basket of about 6-7) VS.  $2/ lb (about 6-7)

Cantaloupe: $3 VS.  $3.49

Cubanelle Peppers: $2 for 3 peppers VS.  $2.99/ lb (about 5 )

Spring Onions: $2 bunch (with 3 large onions) VS.  scallions .99 for about 12

Radishes: $ 1.50 bunch (with greens) VS. Couldn’t find them at the grocery

Not only are there price differences, but for the items that are similar in price, I would still go for the Farmer’s Market products because:

1) I am supporting my local community, economy and farmers.

2) It is FRESHER. Have you ever heard of lettuce or spinach being fresh and crisp after 2 week in the fridge? Well this stuff is- it lasts double time at least, because it is not being transported on trucks or in planes across the country or even from from another country altogether. And it is not sitting there on a grocery store shelf for who knows how long before it is purchased.

So frankly, I’d rather support my local farmers. Some of the stalls are not organic produce, but I would rather get local non-organic certified (most of them practice organic methods) produce than organic produce from California that is full of petroleum after being transported across the country and wilted from sitting on the shelves and in transport.