You have noticed increases in the cost of everything at the grocery store, but the people who are growing the food you are buying are feeling the pinch even worse than you as the costs for fertilizer and equipment increases. Texas A&M AgriLife projects that the cost of fertilizer alone will jump 80% this year.
“In the US farmers o average are earning around $17,000 a year so this is already a shockingly unprofitable sector,” says Rachel Folkerts, Farm Program Director for Houston growing cooperative “Plant it Forward,” a warehouse of produce grown locally by farmers with refugee backgrounds. These are people living on the margins to begin with. Folkerts says they saw an uptick in business when the pandemic began and everyone stayed home to cook, but business has been in decline for the past year.
“Plant it Forward” is selling sustainably grown, organic, healthy, local food which is more expensive than basic grocery stores vegetables and their customer base is very conscious of quality produce. But with the cost of everything going up, the more expensive prices for healthier products is taking a toll. Folkerts says she doesn’t know of any farmers that have gone out of business as a result of inflation, but knows some that are struggling.
Their produce is available at the following Farmer’s Markets:
A. Urban Harvest Farmers Market with Farmer Constant
2752 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, 77027
B. Memorial Villages Farmers Market with Farmer Sarment
10840 Beinhorn Rd, Houston, 77024
C. Bay Area Farmers Market with Farmer Constant
500 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friendswood, 77546
D. Braeswood Farmers Market with Farmers Fatuma & Alimasi
5130 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, 77401
E. Heights Mercantile Farmers Market with Farmer Materanya
714 Yale St, Houston, 77007
2nd + 4th Sundays 9:00am-1:00pm
F. Westchase District Farmers Market with Farmer Bobilya
10503 Westheimer Rd, Houston, 77042
G. Rice Village Farmers Market with Farmer Materanya
2520 Amherst St, Houston, 77005
1st + 3rd Sundays 10:00am-2:00pm
photo: Getty Images