FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Inflation is increasing the cost of running a farm, costing you more in your next trip to the farmer’s market.
The vendors at the Tuesday morning farmers market in Fayetteville said inflation is impacting them all.
Being a vendor at the farmers market has always been Sara Pollard’s dream job. Farming her produce for more than 35 years is hard work, but essential for her well-being and wallet.
“We’re retired so it supplements that little bit of social security,” said Pollard.
Although paying the bills isn’t as easy with the sky-high price of fuel. Pollard said farmers use a lot of diesel in their trucks and tractors and even the cost of driving to and from the farmers markets is higher, since most of the vendors live 35 to 45 miles away.
Also, smaller-scale farmers are squeezed tighter by inflation’s impact on seed, feed and fertilizer costs, since they don’t have the option to buy in bulk.
“We don’t get any deals because we’re the little guys,” said Pollard.
Pollard said she doesn’t want to hand off the price increases to the customers, but it’s the only way for farmers like her to profit this year. Luckily, she doesn’t think it’s made a difference in her sales.
Pollard said either they haven’t noticed or they think its a fair trade for the quality of the product.
“You can’t get anything fresher than at the farmers market,” said Eden Moore, a shopper at the Fayetteville Farmers Market.
Julia Den Herder is one of the managers of Fayetteville’s Farmers Market, and a vendor herself. She said although some people feel like they can’t afford the farmers market anymore, most in the area feel strongly about supporting their neighbor and buying locally.
“Increased grocery store prices have kind of pushed their prices closer to farmers market prices. So I think in some ways that’s pushed more customers to say, ‘I’d rather get it fresh and straight from the farmer,'” said Den Herder.
Tuesday mornings from 7 AM to 1 PM is busy with people buying fresh produce, meat and flowers, but vendors say Saturdays from 7 AM to 2 PM is the best time to visit.