Sunday, June 17, 2012

Farmers Market Tokens: Strike Two

I didn't go to the farmers market last weekend, due to my frustration over the lack of fruits and vegetables on opening morning.  While I greatly appreciate baked goods, jams, and crafts, I want fresh produce when I go to a farmers market.  I was, therefore, totally prepared to go to one in a different town.

After talking to my Minnesota-raised grandmother, however, I decided to give the local farmers market another chance.  She told me that farmers markets in this state always start that way.  Harvests are later in the season, so there's really not much at the beginning.  My neighbor said basically the same thing, adding on that the sweet corn that's there later in the season is wonderful.

Armed with this knowledge, I decided to give it another go.  

Slight problem, though.  A carnival had set itself up in the park, so naturally I spent all of my cash there in under two hours.  

My family had fun, though, so it was totally worth it.

I began to worry about my lack of cash, but then I remembered that I could use my debit card to get chips that could be spent at the farmers market, courtesy of United Way.  The idea was wonderful!  I could purchase tokens so that in the future I wouldn't waste cash that I had set aside for the farmers market.  

I was very excited.  So excited, in fact, that I went ahead and purchased $30 worth of these tokens.  I knew that I wouldn't spend that much this time, since I was only going to buy a bottle of amazing salsa for my mother, and a bottle of pure maple syrup for myself.

Excitedly, I walked out to the vendors in anticipation of my glorious purchases.

The first vendor I went to was the one that sold the salsa.  This woman is amazingly talented, producing salsa that even a desert rat from the Mexican-American border can love.  She stared at my farmer's market tokens in complete confusion, and told me that she'd never used one before.  She took the token, against what I'm sure was her better judgement, and I continued on.

And on.

And on.

Nobody else accepted the tokens!  Now, there may have been a craft vendor that would've accepted them, but since I wasn't there to buy crafts, I wouldn't know.  All I knew was that none of the food vendors would take them.  Once I realized that I had bought nothing more than 6 pretty wooden chips with my $30, I nearly burst into tears.

I left with my bottle of salsa, and nothing more.  I'm beginning to worry that this will be the equivalent of her giving the salsa away for free.  I really hope not.  That would end up making this as unfair to her as it was to me.

What in the heck would cause this to happen?  Has anyone else reading this run into this kind of problem?  

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