Over the summer of 2014 I had an internship with CitySeed. CitySeed is a non-profit organization that runs all of the farmers’ markets in new haven. When I first started my internship I wanted to get a feel for how the farmers’ markets worked. After I volunteered at the farmers’ market for a week or two I remembered hearing almost everyone I know say that farmers markets are more expensive than a grocery store. So I wanted to figure out if that was true not. Then I realized that not many minorities were going to the farmers’ market and I wanted to figure out why.
So the first thing I needed to figure out if farmers’ markets were more expensive than grocery stores is a list of produce to compare the prices of. My mentor in my internship came up with a list of produce. Then we picked out the three most used grocery stores in New Haven which are Stop&Shop, Shop Rite, and Edge of the Woods. For produce that was non-organic we compared the prices of them from the downtown farmers’ market, Stop&Shop, and Shop Rite. For organic produce we compared the prices from the downtown farmers’ market and Edge of the Woods. After we got all of the prices and made sure everything was measured the same we figured out that organic and non-organic produce was either the same price or cheaper at the downtown farmers’ market. The only thing more expensive at the farmers’ market was raspberries.
Then to start off my quest to figure out why minorities weren’t going to the farmers’ market I made a survey. I knew my survey couldn’t be too long because I knew no one would want to take it. So it ended up being five questions. The questions were 1) Do you purchase fruits and vegetables? 2) Do you go to the farmers’ market? 3) Where do you buy your produce? 4) Do you think that farmers’ markets are more expensive than grocery stores? 5) If the price of produce were the same at a grocery and the farmers’ market would you go to the farmers’ market? Why or why not? So after I made the surveys I went to the downtown farmers’ market, Stop&Shop, Shop Rite, and Edge of the Woods to survey the people shopping there, and I also checked the prices of the produce to make sure nothing has changed. After I surveyed everyone I went through the answers and coded them. The results we’re that minorities didn’t go to the farmers’ market just because it was inconvenient. The problem was that people couldn’t got to the locations of the farmers’ market because they had no transportation. Or the farmers’ market was open while they were at work.
Now I hope that because the farmers’ market knows why minorities do not go to the farmers’ market and that it isn’t more expensive than a grocery store they use that to their advantage. So maybe next year they will change the times or locations of the farmers’ markets.