Dekalb Farmers Market boasts impressive produce display

11/12/2009 04:11:28 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

It was great for me to get the chance to cruise the Atlanta-area aisles with my friend last week.

Pamela Riemenschneider
Aisle Wandering

Like me, she’s a mom of youngsters — hers are ages 4 and 16 months, and there’s another on the way. Unlike me, she’s what you’d call a core organic shopper — especially in produce.

My friend is a stay-at-home mom and her husband is a deployed military member, so she’s buying for herself and the kids.
 
I find it amazing that even on a tight budget she remains committed to buying organic when she can and as local as possible.

She’s even joined a CSA — community supported agriculture — operation and gets a box of produce weekly.

Unfortunately, she’s discovering the problem with being part of a CSA. When one gets a box of turnip greens, daikon radishes and unpronounceable spicy salad greens for the fourth week in a row, one starts to question the $30-a-week price tag.

Unfortunately for her, the grocery retailers in Columbus, Ga., don’t carry much organic produce, so we headed to Atlanta.

We jumped at the chance to go to the Dekalb Farmers Market on the north side of town. I think they use the term “farmers market” a little loosely. It’s not really a farmers market but it is pretty impressive.

The whole place is laid out like a big open-air cooler, with about five aisles the length of half a football field of any kind of produce you can imagine on display.

It had more organic produce than you see in your average Whole Foods, and man was it cheap.

I saw a 3-pound bag of organic Honeycrisp apples for $3.99. A pound of bulk conventional Honeycrisps will set you back $2.99 at your average retailer.

We stocked up and moved on to Trader Joe’s. Admittedly, Trader Joe’s isn’t known for its produce.

In fact, the cashier even quizzed us about our weekend, and I mentioned I was headed to a conference.

When he found out who I work for, he even asked “Why are you here? Our produce is terrible!”

That didn’t stop us from picking up some itty bitty organic gala apples for our toddlers to munch.

She took a hard look at something called “Itty Bitty Potatoes,” but declined to purchase because it wasn’t organic.

I can’t say the same for myself. I’ll be looking for those the next time I go shopping.

E-mail pamelar@producemerchandising.com and follow Pamela on Twitter @pamelawr.


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