We at College Street Farmers Market are proud to declare that CSFM is a producers-only market. “Producers-only” means that everything that you purchase at our market was made, grown, or raised by the person that sold it to you. Most importantly, it means that all of us, as consumers at the farmers market, can know precisely where our products come from. We can see the name of farm or store, look up where they are from, and speak to someone who is from there. Transparency in the supply chain is the watermark of CSFM’s mission.
Part of our process before our market kickoff on May 3 was to have inspections of each vendor’s space performed. Every vendor was visited by either a member of the board of the College Street Farmers Market or another vendor who was willing to volunteer their time to help with our inspection process. We have verified that the farms, kitchens, and workshops of our producers were in line with both their applications and our approval requirements.
Those requirements are not numerous, but they are stringent, and read as follows:
● RAISE the livestock that made the meat products for sale
● GROW the crops available for sale
● MAKE the food, health, or art product available for sale (Nothing should be mass produced or bought on wholesale)
● Regional qualification (must be produced within 25 miles of the Alabama State line)
● All produce must be grown naturally & NOT use any synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms.
● All livestock must be raised mostly on pasture and with space for freedom of movement. Feed must be grown without synthetic inputs or genetically modified seeds.
● Product(s) that are of high quality and add diversity to the market
● Traceability of the farmers/growers and producer
These are the requirements measured by the CSFM representatives when they inspect our vendors, so that we may ensure that every customer at the College Street Farmers Market can know exactly what they are getting and from where it has come.
College Street Farmers Market takes place every Thursday, 3pm-7pm, at Singin’ River Live in downtown Florence, AL. Come check it out, see for yourself, and help us continue to build a happier, healthier, more locally invested Shoals!