We've all been to them - those quaint, little 'ma and pa' farm markets where you get all those great farm-fresh vegetables and fruits.
In our little community, they have one set up on a corner of a 'chain' drugstore parking lot. Yes, they've got the big tent and tables with all the produce and some nice Mennonite young ladies to serve you. I think that is part of the wholesomeness one expects.
My wife picked up 3 nice tomatoes since we both had a hankering for some and our tomatoes are still just a tad too green ... okay, they are just green rocks right now -- to eat. And we got a baker's 1/2 dozen of what they call Indiana sweet corn. Some of the best around. For seven ears of this sweet ambrosia, the price was a mere $2.75. Cough. Hack. Cough. Our local WalMart is selling sweet corn for $.12 an ear. Hm? 7 X $.12 = $.84. Not even ONE dollar. And, yes, the WalMart sweet corn is usually pretty good and fresh.
But, this was Indiana sweet corn and I'm willing to fork out a few more dollars for ambrosia.
The young lady smiled at me and said, "That will be $9.25." Without thinking, I forked over a $10 bill and graciously accepted the 3 quarters of change.
As we drove away my mind started thinking and my wife also came to the same conclusion... uh, exactly how did 3 tomatoes and 7 ears of corn come up to over nine dollars?
Seems the tomatoes were selling for $2.65 a pound.
I remember when I could buy three pounds of tomatoes for a single dollar. Now it is almost three dollars for a single pound.
Suddenly, I knew what it felt like to be raped. That young Mennonite girl smiled at me and took my money with not so much as a blink.
Now I like farm-fresh veggies and all. I'm not a fanatic where it has to be all organic or anything like that, screaming for pesticide-free veggies. I just wanted fresh - something that hadn't been packed 2 days ago in a state maybe 3 or 4 states away and then transported to my local store to make me think it was plucked from the vine/tree/ground/etc only moments before I got it.
I like to think I live in the real world.
Uh, is $2.65 per pound for tomatoes too much? I mean, if that is a 'fair' price, I've got a literal gold mine growing in my garden. Next year I'll plant even more tomatoes and should be able to make my first million by October 2017. Whoo-hoo! My tomatoes are grown from seed. I have about 100 seeds left ... uh, that could easily be 100 plants and at almost a pound per tomato... you do the math.
As I have had a small amount of time to reflect on this incident, I think I've realized why the pricing is the way it is. They allow senior citizens to use free tickets from the government to purchase fresh products to eat. As I see it, once more, it is the case of the $200 Army hammer that anyone else can buy at the local hardware store for $5 to $8. Government money abuse.
Think about it. The senior citizens get the tickets for free. It didn't cost them anything. So the vendor, Mr. Happy Farmer, can charge whatever he wishes ... somebody else is picking up the price of the tickets. I'd like to say the government, but in reality, it will be you and me via our taxes.
As many people don't realize. The government is not a real business. It hands out free money to people but that money is not profit from some business. Uh, for those who really don't understand, every government employee - including your Senator and House Rep, gets her/her salary from your taxes. Yes. It is tax money collected. It is ALL tax money from somewhere - either via a large/small business or each person. The government does not earn profit (money) but they give away money as if they were printing it. Oh, wait, they do print it. My bad.
But, I digress.
Enjoy the harvest of fresh veggies from the farm - just be sure to watch the prices.
Until next I ramble on...