I am appalled at the vendors' opinions quoted in your July 25 article about Howard County farmers' markets. Given the rate of obesity in this country, and the rise of obesity-related diseases in children, encouraging families to shop for fresh, local produce should be a priority. Instead, the farmers overcharge and collude on pricing (it's painfully obvious that the prices are fixed when every vendor sells at the exact the same price).
I would love to support local farmers and I prefer to eat organic, yet I simply cannot justify paying $12 for a 3-pound chicken, $6 for a small loaf of bread or $5 for four tiny beets. Everything at the market is vastly overpriced.
I understand that organic farming is more labor intensive than big agro, but here's an idea for the farmers: you don't need clowns and face painting to attract customers — you need to offer affordable produce and competitive pricing. Wouldn't you prefer to sell out at a lower price than take half your produce back home again?