Wednesday 7 December 2016

farmers' markets

Published 21/09/2015 | 02:30

farmers' markets

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For thousands of years, an Irish farmers' market meant hairy-nosed men spitting on their hands and saying "Go on, ya bollocks" over the price of a calf. Try any of that in a modern farmers' market and you'd probably end up getting Tasered.

So what changed? Well, first of all, the building boom meant that all sorts started turning up in Superquinn and M&S. Posher types were seen running from the premises, screaming, "That was the closest I ever want to get to a carpenter". They ran straight into the comforting embrace of these new markets selling simple, traditional Irish produce like parsnips, brie, pak choi and chorizo.

These markets satisfied another deep need in the modern Irish soul. Which is to mimic American hipsters, without once asking, "Hang on a second, is there any chance this is complete bullshit?" The minute some American college dropout decided to sell loose carrots in a parking lot, it was only a matter of time before it happened here.

And boy, did it happen. Yummy mummies, (tight white jeans, sunglasses on the head; it's a uniform) gathered wherever there were more than two people in beanies selling spuds.

The market boom soured towards the end of the decade. Customers who previously said, "I don't mind paying extra, as long as I don't have to meet my plumber", suddenly changed their tune. The most popular phrase in 2010 Farmers' Markets was, "I can get that for 39 cent in Aldi". And yet the markets survived and prospered. Why? Sex. Money might have been tight. But there was no shortage of yummy mummies who wanted to talk kale and maybe more with a gorgeous hipster.

Sunday Independent

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