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The Day's food in war and peace
([ca.1918])

Lesson VIII: [The use of locally-grown products and the developemnt of a nearby food supply],   pp. 88-98 PDF (3.2 MB)


Page 91

91 
In some places It may be found advisable to suspend the operation of 
farmers' markets during the coldest winter months, when local production
is 
at low ebb. In other cities, potatoes, apples and other stored vegetables
and 
fruits, dairy and poultry products, cured meats, home-canned goods, maple
sugar, honby, and other foodstuffs from the farm will be brought in sufficient
quantities to keep the market in operation during the off-season for fresh
vegetables and fruitĀ§. Where the establishment of a farmers' market
is con- 
templated, the winter will be found a good season to sound the sentiment
of the 
local growers, consumers and retailers, regarding the proposition and to
work 
up the necessary plans. 
While a farmers' market does not require elaborate quarters, or extensive
equipment, it can not be expected to spring Into existence 'without aid.
It can 
be built up only by concerted effort, and a large part of his effort must
come 
fronh consumers and their organizations. Much personal work often is neces-
sary to persuade the city government to act and to induce the growers to
try 
out this method of marketing. 
Housewives -must realize that they will have to support a retail farmers'
market if It Is to be a success, and that to do this they will have to change
their methods of buying. For example, housewives can not expect to telephone
their orders to a public market or to have such a market furnish them the
delivery service or credit which they have become accustomed to receive from
the corner grocer. They will have to pay cash and carry their goods home,
or 
pay for the delivery. In return, they will get "re varied and fresher
prod- 
ucts, and when the supply is ample to meet the demand, the prices on the
farmers' market should average lower than in established retail stores. When
retail farmers' markets are first started, prices are often disappointingly
high, 
due to the fact that the supplies offered are inadequate to meet the needs
of the 
housewives who are present to buy. This condition will correct itself, how-
ever, as more farmers are attracted to the market with their loads. Both
consumers and growers have to be patient until the supply and demand are
properly adjusted. 
The two fiems of credit and delivery have such an important bearing on the
whole question of retail prices that it is worth while to speak of them in
passing. The ordinary store, of course, does not offer these services unpaid
but. charges for them in fixing its prices. All customers, therefore, pay
for 
them whether they wish them or not. Some retailers have adopted the "cash,
nonfree delivery" system with great success. A few have gone a step
further 
and developed what is sometimes called the "three-way system,"
in which the 
basic price is for goods only, minus all credit and delivery service. Customers
who wish may open a charge account, but a small percentage will be added
to 
their bills to cover the expense of carrying the account. Deliveries also
are 
made on request, but the customer who demands delivery must pay a reasonable
charge for it. In other words, those who wish credit and delivery service
can 
buy it, and those who prefer to avoid its expense can do so, thus effecting
a real, 
worth while saving. It should be only a matter of time before most customers
will refuse to pay for such service unless they use it, and dealers will
charge 
extra for it when it is supplied. Each housekeeper must consider the relative
value of her own time, her strength, and her money, and. determine for herself
whether she should pay or carry. 
USE OF LOCALLY-GROWN PRODUCTS IN SEASON. 
Even where there is no farmers' market housekeepers can lessen the demand
for goods shipped in from a distance by using more locally-grown foods when


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