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I did a "FreshTalk" video a couple of weeks ago about the Portland State University Farmers Market, and so it was interesting to see the column in the New York Times the other day by Mark Bittman, entitled "Farmers Market Values."

"For most of us," Bittman writes, "there’s no better place to buy fruits and vegetables than at a farmers’ market. Period. The talk about high prices isn’t entirely unjustified, but it can be countered, and I’ll get to that in a minute.

"What’s inarguable is that farmers’ markets offer food of superior quality, help support smaller-scale farmers in an environment that’s more and more difficult for anyone not doing industrial-scale agriculture, and increase the amount of local food available to shoppers. All of this despite still-inadequate recognition and lack of government support."

I can think of a few retailers I know who would be happy to argue with the "superior quality" statement, but I still think the column is worth reading here, if only because it lays out what makes a great farmers market so compelling.
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