Monday, November 16, 2009

Farmers' Markets in Peril?

The wheels of justice grind ever so slowly. Last spring the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture (ODA) started rumbling about the need to impose new rules regulating the vendors at farmers' markets. Their idea was to do a series of "surveillance exercises" to check compliance with exisiting regulations. Sounds fine, right?

The answer is, not so much. The problem is that current ODA regulations see small farmers who sell directly to the public in the same way they view large industrial agricultural operations. In the series he wrote for GSNW titled "Farewell to Frikeh," contributor Anthony Boutard outlined the problems and suggested solutions.

The video above gives a basic overview of the issues, and a hearing at the Capitol in Salem on Wednesday will discuss the issue further. Hopefully things will move forward at more than the current snail's pace.

Details: Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities Informational Hearing on Farmers' Markets. Wed., Nov. 18, 8 am. Room HR F (House wing), State Capitol Bldg., Salem. 503-986-1755.


Ivy said...

Thanks for reminding all of us how tenuous access to fresh food grown locally is. I know I don't want to subsist on "astronaut veg" (the cubes of lifeless frozen bags of peas and cubed carrots). We all have to stay informed, and you do a great job of monitor the issues for us. Thanks!

Kathleen Bauer said...

Thanks, Ivy! Keeping it local is certainly important to me, and it's critical that we all stay involved and keep each other informed.