Farmers Market Report

by Spec MacQuayde, August 19, 2009

The Ukaholics provided a musical backdrop for the Boonville Farmers' market on Saturday morning. They entertained the throngs of shoppers with their barbershop quartet style harmonizing and slapstick theatrics.

Actually there were no throngs. The people perusing from one vendor to the next were no thicker than the steelhead are in the Navarro, these days. Vicki Brock is reporting that sales are down, and Pam Laird did not sell out of the heirloom tomatoes that had been so long awaited. Perhaps this is due to the economic downturn which some economists hope is behind us now, a mere adjustment, a correction, and when consumers get back on their feet they will be turning out in droves, er, throngs, to purchase heirloom tomatoes at several bucks a pound.

If you believed the conversations taking place under the shade of the almonds, though, the “Cash for Clunkers” deal may not pull us up by our own bootstraps, and this recession is barely beginning, in which case the hot items in the future might be turnips and cabbages. Perhaps a different crowd will be turning out, and the Farmers Market may resemble the ones you might run across in “undeveloped” countries, where live chickens are for sale, clucking in their baskets. Day laborers will mill about, hoping some farmer has rocks to pluck from a field in exchange for a square meal. Bands like the Ukaholics will still be performing with their low overhead, and you will probably see craftsmen like David Lipkind and Paul Schulman who set up shop in Boonville on the third Saturday of every month to sharpen your knives, scissors, shears, and garden tools. Their machines were whirring as the Ukaholics strummed and increasingly frugal shoppers hunted for locally grown bargains.

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