Be a price sleuth for the Grassroots OPX™
and get our Reporters’ GIFT BONANZA!

T-shirt, hat, notepad, pencil and patch—you’ll be the envy of your community as you walk the aisles of your local farmers market.


Put your favorite market in the index. E-mail associate editor Amanda:
Click here to join the Grassroots OPX™ reporting team now!

March 23, 2004: The Grassroots OPX™ is a weekly update featuring retail prices for sustainably raised, heirloom and organic produce and products from farmers markets around the country. We run it every week of the farmers market season, starting May 1 and ending some time around Thanksgiving.

And how do we gather these street-level prices paid by real people for real food? We look to our volunteer corps of farmers market reporters. Their faithful work and observations create the numbers and insights that make the Grassroots OPX so valuable.

And where do these faithful reports come from? They come from the 90,000 or so regular visitors to The New Farm® web site.

And why are we telling you this now? Because we have a dream, and we need your help with it. We’d like to have numbers on at least two farmers markets in every state of the union. That means we need at least 100 people to volunteer around two hours a week during the market season to gather numbers for us, at the producers’ only market where they sell, or buy.

As a reward for your effort—in addition to the gratitude of thousands—you’ll get the full Gift Bonanza which includes a 100% organic cotton tee, a 100% organic cotton cap, a recycled currency pencil and a handy-dandy notepad all with The New Farm logo (photo coming soon!). Talk about a deal. Just e-mail The New Farm associate editor Amanda Kimble-Evans at and let her know you’re interested.


Real prices. Real food. Real community.

Setting prices for sustainably raised and organic vegetables, fruits and value-added products always poses a dilemma.

How can you tell customers enough of the “story” of your well-farmed crop to explain all the benefits that come with a tomato, a jar of jam or an heirloom eggplant. How can they understand how much more they are getting in this local food transaction than they get from the grocery store at the end of the industrial food chain?

You want your customers to compare “food system for food system,” not “apples for apples.”

The right price for farmers at a market reflects a mix of their cost of production, seasonal factors, what else is for sale, the quality/variety of the offerings, and the preferences and spending habits of the market’s full range of customers.

The certified organic wholesale produce prices at our OPX provide a sense of the premiums that organic gets for the uniform, processed and packaged products sold at the wholesale level. For street-level prices, you need more than prices. You need an understanding of the market, its location, its clientele and the weekly variables that influence price and offerings. That’s what our corps of volunteers do each week. Look for it, starting in early May. Better yet, be a volunteer price reporter yourself. Just email New Farm associate editor Amanda Kimble-Evans at and let her know you’re interested.

The coming season’s Grassroots OPX will be all new and improved. You’ll be able to compare the products and prices at two specific markets, look at prices from all the markets in a given state, or look at the prices for select products from all markets around the country!

Put your favorite market in the index.
Click here to join the Grassroots OPX™ reporting team now!