THE ALACHUA COUNTY FARMERS' MARKET
By: Kathy Weedman
December 15, 1993
Ethnographic Field Methods
For: Professor Christina Gladwin
The University of Florida
Department of Anthropology
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 2: WHO ARE THE GROWERS AT THE MARKET?
CHAPTER 3: WHAT IS INVOLVED IN SELLING AT THE MARKET?
CHAPTER 4: HOW DO FARMERS DECIDE TO SELL AT THE ALACHUA
COUNTY FARMERS MARKET?
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION
On the northwest corner of Highway 441 and 34th street in Gainesville, Florida
the grating of traffic is reduced to a muffle by the squeak of wagons wheels and the voices
of American commerce. For here is the location of the Alachua County Farmers' Market
introduced by a subtle painted wood sign on the highway which reads Alachua County
Farmers' Market Fresh .... and then proceeds to list the day's fresh produce. Since
1972 the outdoor markets in Gainesville have had several locations, but in 1987 there was a
movement for the discovery of a permanent location for the market (Feingold 1990.1). The
funding for the three Alachua County Farmers' Market buildings was provided by B.
This market is not a menagerie of overbearing pungent odors and abrasive bartering
merchants and customers, as those of other countries. It is rather a subdued event at which
the only odors rise from a flowering plant or sweet fruits. There is very little eliciting of
customers or belligerent competition between sellers to arouse the customers interests.
Instead the merchant sits on his metal fold-out chair or on the tailgate of his pick-up truck
and waits patiently for the gestures and words of an interested customer. Occasionally the
merchants fidget with their goods of vegetables, fruits, honeys, root crops, plants, and
flowers. They spread their produce out on cloth covered aluminum tables and boards
supported by boxes, crates, or apple buckets, or perhaps simply set it on the ground. The
customers meander from merchant to merchant sometimes listlessly pulling around red
Radio-flyer wagons, provided at the market, to hold the treasures of the days produce.
The overheard conversations range from the price of goods and how they are grown, to
politics, the weather, and family news for those customers more interested in socializing
than commerce. The merchant is an eager conversationalist The Alachua County Farmers'
Market may not be a menagerie of strong odors, but it may be a menagerie of merchants
straying from their usually role of small agricultural producer.
The first farmers' market in the United States was established in 1634 in Boston,
Massachusetts, and farmers' markets became a widespread American institution by the
nineteenth century. In the past, colonial markets were open to all producers and those
who grew the food sold it directly to the consumer (Sommer 1980:20-21). However, by
the early twentieth century with the advent of the urban growth and suburban development
a majority of farmland was taken away from small farmers (Sommer 1980:24-26). In
addition, the creation of chain food stores that supported the factory farms, because of their
capabilities of delivering foods at specific tiims and over long distances, undermined the
small family farmer. Researchers also turned against the small family farmer and
encouraged the development of a variety of crops for volume production that would
withstand the long delay between harvest and sale. Lastly, consumer interest waned from
local grocers and opted for the more convenient supermarket and the farmers' markets all
In the 1970s, the export boom inflated land values and the price of farm equipment
that made it harder for the beginning farmer to get started (Gladwin and Zabawa 1984;
Gladwin 1983). In addition, with the growing instability of the world market farmers
were forced to change their farming strategies. Studies of Northern Florida farmers
indicate that economic and technological pressures forced the majority of farmers to either
run out of business or transform into part-time farming, while a minority of farmers were
able to obtain larger farms (Gladwin and Zabawa 1986). From 1935 to 1974 the number
of farms in the United states dropped from 6.5 to 2.7 million. The number of Florida farms
were cut in half from 72,857 to 32,466. While the number of farms decreased there was a
marked increase in the size of farms in Florida from 83 to 407 acres. Although 73.6 % of
all of Florida's farms belong to small farmers, they own only 23% of land (Gladwin and
Butler 1984). The changing American economy and technology has led most Florida
farmers to adapt new survival strategies, the most prominent being to find part-time work
outside of agriculture, while maintaining gardening in order to cut living expenses
(Gladwin and Butler 1982; Gladwin and Butler 1984)
In the 1960s the re-establishment of the market place was offered in hopes of
revitalizing of the small family farmer (Sommer 1980:27-28). During this period,
disenchantment with multi-national corporations grew and legislation began to seek ways to
help improve the situation of small family farmers. Second, consumers became more
concerned with DDT and other pesticides that were contaminating their fresh produce. The
resurgence of farmers' markets was further enhanced in the 1980s by the country's
economic recession, as consumers preferred purchasing goods for low prices at markets
over the convenience of the supermarket. In return farmers are able to sell their produce
directly to the public through which they can receive higher returns (Sommer 1980:35-36).
In the state of Florida by 1992 there were 15 state-owned farmers' markets. Ten
of these markets were established before 1940 and two within the last thirty years (Degner
et. al. 1992: 1-4). However, in the mid 1980s, Alachua county farmers still indicated that
one of the top three major problems family farmers face is marketing or an absence of a
produce outlet (Gladwin and Dunn 198-). In the late 1980s the Alachua County Farmers'
Market found a permanent location in Gainesville, Florida (Feingold 1990). The market
was established to provide a permanent location for farmers to sell their goods directly to
the public (Feingold 1990:73-74). This in turn was thought to provide a means for the
survival of the small local Florida farmer. So why are only 28% of the Alachua county
farmers, who want to sell directly to the consumer, currently selling at the Alachua County
Farmers' Market, if a lack of a market was one of main issues of concern for local
farmers? This question is the focus of this current research at the Alachua County
Farmers' Market. Who are the producers at Alachua County Farmers' Market and why do
they choose the market as their place of commerce? Does the market aid the small family
farmers or farmers, who rely solely on the sales of their produce to the public as their basic
income or is now the term farmers' market anachronistic. I believe it is important to
determine if the farmers' market is a feasible means for the sustenance of the small family
farmer since this was the original goal of the market
This study involves research conducted at the Alachua County Farmers' Market to
address the issue of whether the market is an aid for sustaining the small family farmer.
The study was conducted between August 26th and December 12, 1993. There can be
several insider points of view and thus the ethnographer must either accept that he/she is
e-xploring simply one view, or obtain a large enough number and types of participants to
describe the complete realm of the event from all insiders' points of view. A typical
ethnography atterhpts to explain how a place, event, or even the broader world is
interpreted or synthesized by one or many participants. The farmers' market has customers
and merchants, however, this study is limited to an examination of the merchants. They
often refer to themselves as "growers" because one has to grow everything that he/she sells
at the market The ethnography is a means to illicit emic rather than etic values. To obtain
this knowledge the ethnographer must take the position that she/he is completely ignorant.
The goal is to limit ones own ethnocentrism and to weed it out of the ethnography. Thus
the ethnographer must become the student whose mind is empty and ravenous, while the
participant becomes the teacher, whose knowledge is the fulfilling nectar.
The ethnographic data was collected through a combination of three processes:
interviewing (Spradley 1979), participant observation (Spradley 1979), and decision tree
modeling (Gladwin 1989). The interviews were tape recorded on a micro-cassette
recorder and notes were taken in a journal especially during interviews to note inaudible
subtlety of conversation, during participant observation, and decision tree modeling.
The first step in developing an ethnography is the identification of the informants.
Informants should be enculturated, currently involved in the cultural scene, be non-
analytical, and have the time to participate in an interview. My initial contact with the
farmers' market was through the Cooperative Extension Services and Agriculture agent
Bill Bradley. Mr. Bradley informed me of a farmers' market board meeting on August 26th
1993. At the board meeting I met F1 and F2 who gave me permission to study the
farmers' market and to conduct interviews. I received permission to do my study on the
condition that the board receive a copy of my paper. I was to stop interviews if a customer
approaches a seller. During my first visit to the farmers' market I met the former manager
of the farmers' market He provided me a list of all the merchants. In choosing those who
are interviewed I attempted to pick a diverse educational and economic background of those
who participate. This diversity should allow me to address the questions of who uses the
farmers' market and why.
The second step involved interviewing the informants. There are two types of
interviews which will be used: the standard ethnographic interview and the decision tree
interview. However, only the former was used as the initial interview format. The
standard ethnographic interview requires that the questions asked of the person interviewed
are elicited from the descriptions provided by the person interviewed (Spradley 1979: 83-
84). To truly obtain the insiders' view, one must know how the participant describes the
event in his/her own words, why the participant interprets the event in that way, and in
turn what those words mean to the insider. The interviewer is to obtain his/her information
through asking descriptive (grand-tour or mini-tour), taxonomic or native-language,
contrast, and structural questions (Spradley 1979). The tour questions are broad questions
which attempt to illicit a broad description of a place or activity. An example of a grand tour
question might be Could you tell me what a typical day at the farmers' market involves
for you, what is it that you do from the first thing you do when you arrive until you
leave?". During a typical interview several folk terms may be elicited from the informant.
In order to reveal how the informant understands the words and phrases that he/she uses in
describing their culture involves asking taxonomic and contrast questions. For instance if
an informant used the word "grower" several times the ethnographer might ask a
taxonomic question in order to determine the informant what he/she meant when they
referred to grower. The final question type, structural questions, are meant to induce the
person being interviewed to provide a complete list of terms used within their domain. A
domain is a group of words or phrases which share at least one feature of meaning. The
interviewer is to avoid asking leading questions or questions that can be answered with a
simple yes or no answer. Since the ethnographer is trying to learn from the informant it is
good to encourage the informant by expressing interest and cultural ignorance. See
Appendix A for an example of an ethnographic interview conducted at the farmers' market.
The third step, in the ethnographic method used here, involved participant
observation, that is participating in the cultural scene in which you are studying. This
method allows the ethnographer to determine if the interviewers are doing what they say
they are doing. I cannot participate by being a merchant since I do not grow anything.
During the off-season, however, which is the months of August and September, the
growers take turns being the manager. So I helped in the opening and closing of the
The fourth step of the methodology involved decision tree modeling which is based
on Gladwin 1989. First the ethnographer must decide which decision he/she is interested
in addressing in the study. The decision should be something that the informants are
actively deciding and which is pertinent to the specific context in which you are studying
them. It would not be fruitful to ask the growers at the market why they like to go to the
zoo, as it would tell us nothing about them or their cultural scene which is being studied.
Decision criteria can be elicited from the informants through analysis of scripts and plans.
Scripts and plans are attentive and pre-attentive criteria which the informant uses when
acting on common (scripts) and unique (plans) situations. Each step in a script or plan
usually requires that an informant make a decision. These decision can then be modeled. In
this case, I wanted to learn why people chose to sell at the farmers' market Each persons
answer helped build the decision tree model. In building the model it is important not to be
too simple by recognizing only the first criteria espoused by the informant. The decision
tree models involves not only the surface answer to the question but also the internal logical
and all the steps taken in making that decision. The ethnographer then has to not only
obtain a response from the informant but also find out why the informant made that
decision using the informants logic system. Therefore the model is designed from emic
criteria and then tested.
The goal of the ethnosematic and decision tree methods used in this study at the
Alachua County Farmers' Market was to come at an understanding of what it is like to be a
grower. The following ethnography will provide a description of who is using the
farmers' market how they use the market, as well as a model of why the current
merchants chose to participate in the farmers' market.
WHO ARE THE GROWERS AT THE MARKET?
The merchants at the farmers' market refer to themselves as "growers" because
one has to grow everything that he/she sells at the market. In order to get at the farmers'
market merchants world view I had to discover how the growers described events in their
own words, why they interpreted events in that way, and in turn what those words mean
to them. Ethnosemantic analysis (folk terms, domain analysis, taxonomic analysis, and
componential analysis) revealed numerous folk terms used by the growers designating
people who participated in the farmers' market (Spradley 1979:107-119 and 132-184).
Ethnosemantic methods are all used by the ethnographer for understanding the terminology
and thus the world of the insider's culture. At the base of these three types of analysis is
the concept that as human beings our brains processes information in the same way; we all
unconsciously categorize our world. Inherit in all human beings is the means to classify
the world based on similarities and differences. However, the degree to which people
classify their world, the specific terminology's, and the criteria they use to define the
criteria are culture specific. It was at first assumed that all the growers in the market shared
the same folk taxonomies since they all shared the same cultural scene.
The folk taxonomies of the growers is a system designed for communicating about
something with the other growers who already understand the nature of what is being
discussed. Interviews elicited terms concerning the types of merchants at the market.
Terms used by the ethnographer to describe the culture are useless because they are terms
created from the outside and may not represent all the aspects used by the insider to define
his/her culture. Folk terms are words or phrases used by the informant to describe his/her
cultural scene. Folk taxonomies are culture specific. Folk taxonomies are revealed through
asking descriptive questions of the informants. The meanings of the terms are derived
through asking structural and contrast questions which illustrate how the term is used,
when it is used, and what in what context it is used. Provided below is a list of folk
taxonomies and their meaning or use by the informants which were referred to in this
Folk Terms used at the farmers' market (used in the proceeding analysis):
Market Manager: (F2) check to make sure people are in their correct stalls and that the
right people are in that stall. And then when we have the new ones, we direct them to a
stall and collect their Saturday fee for those who do not have permanent spaces. Take care
of the telephone and make sure that everyone is happy. People come in and we make sure
they are taken care of properly. Afterwards clean up and make sure everything is in
place. Close up and clean up the place. (F3) The manager, its his job to take care of
unruly customers. (F4) The manager opens up and comes in and close the gates. We have
a sign out on the road and on the fence. He takes out signs and sets them up. We have to
mark, take out the pylons and put them up so people don't run into the emergency
building area. Record the people who come in, like us we have a regular place, he waves
us through, and we come in. For those who don't have a regular place he has to find a
place for them and assign them to a place. For people who are there on a daily basis he
collects their fees. On a busy season day he helps with parking cars. He also circulates
through the market and keeps an idea on what is selling and what people have. Then we
have a recorder inside, people can dial up and see what we are selling in here. He puts
that on the recorder and updates that and so people know what is being sold out here. He
see that everything is shut up and cleans up the restroom. (participant observation)
Manager puts up wagons, picks up trash, writes down who is present on worksheet and
what they were selling. Puts up signs that were set up near road. Cleans bathroom. Locks
up office and gated area of market.
The Permanent Market Hanager:(F2) During the on-season we have a permanent Market
Manager and its just one persons job. (F4) He tries and the board of directors try to get
advertising but it is very hard.
Temporary Market Manager: (F2) during the off-season board members take turn being
market manager this is a temporary manager.
Customer: (F5, F3) the consumer, the homeowner, the public.
Unruly customer: (F3) Some customers are unruly or problem customer for example a
gentleman with alcohol on his breath came in during the off season we don't have a
specific manager who responsibility is to deal with anyone who is obnoxious or has a
problem. if he is here then you can send someone over to talk to him. Well this was the
off-season. The person came in and had a dog with him. The rule is no pets. Dog was not
on a lease. The city law says that in order for that dog to be out has to be on a lease. But
the point is there is a rule. I didn't know who owned the dog when the dog ran up to me
and I petted the dog and said who is your master and he ran up to this gentleman who is
much taller than I am. I said excuse me sir we don't allow pets in the market you'll have
to take your dog out of the market, and he snapped right away. What are you the manager
you in charge of market. I said no there is no one in charge I was trying to nice. The man
got in my face and started to tell me he was going to kick my butt and I simply listen to
him blow off his steam. There was not much I could do I knew he was intoxicated maybe
he got upon the wrong side of the bed. But it was not simply that I asked him to take his
dog out of the market that made him blow up. He went about his way. The truth is that
gentleman still comes to this market he doesn't buy anything from me but he still comes
to the market and he buys from other people. I think I handled him properly. Other
people will tell you that a plant is not what you have it labeled as. Like a lady who kept
telling me my dill was not dill, she was very loud. I don't know how to deal with people
like that. I think as long as your in sales there will always be people who want to argue
with you to chew you up and wants to be obnoxious. You try to handle it calmly. Its not
really a problem here. Maybe only a handful of times in five years has there been a
problem. Most of the time if you discuss things calmly it will get worked out.
Friendly customer. (F5) A friendly customer is just someone who smiles and buys
plants that's a friendly customer. (F2) Most of our customers are very gracious and
friendly. They want to talk about this or that they are very nice, not all of them buy
Looker: (F5) well Yeah, you get a lot of people who will walk through and they will ask
you about the price of this. Everything I have here is priced. I have a tag on everything
here --- its quite visible. They can see what everything costs. But yet you will get
those people who will say "oh that's pretty how much is this ?" and then you will tell
them and then they'll ask "well how much are these over here?" and then you will tell
them. Then they say "I will be back later to get some of those". Maybe 5 % of those
people will come back. Most were looking for an easy-out--- you know-- a way to get
through without spending any money. Uh the lookers too are fine because sooner or later
you might get one of them too. But as a rule if they say they'll be back you can wave good
byo to them because you wont see them again.
Buyer:(F5) And then you have those naturally serious buyers who will pick out a plant
and then buy. You'll help them load up and they'll be gone. And naturally those are the
kind of people that you love--you know. You want the serious buyers. (F4) We have
customers who will want to buy just a little bit just for a meal or for the day. A had a
lady come by today, its a little unusual, but occasionally she likes the shape of the
vegetable to put in a display. Also we have people who will come who will want to freeze
it. Most buy and use right away. Last year I had a young lady who bought five bags of
lettuce. She wanted something for a quick pick up during final exams. A lady who had
relatives up north who loved arugala and she would buy and send them arugala.
Grower: (F3) Growers care about their plants and want to sell and keep people and
customer happy. Growers are people at the market, the seller, people who are the
sellers are grower of items that they sell. You have to grow in order to sell here you
have to grow it whether its a vegetable, or fruit, or fire wood. You have to be lenient on
certain things like honey. Maybe she didn't exactly grow that honey, the bees did it, but
she went out and collected it, she owns the bee hive. We can tell you if there were any
pesticides on these green beans were there any seven dust sprinkled on this lettuce. You
cant find that out at the supermarket. (F4) A grower is a person who grows things out of
Plant people- (F4) There are plant people who sell household plants, trees, and flowers.
(F3) some people have a brown thumb whatever they try to grow will die. Others have a
green thumb they are plant people.
Market gardener: (F4) There are a number of different kinds, I am a market gardener, I
grow a number of different products just to sell them here. Most people 1/3 here are
probably retired something as an avocation to have fun.
Farmer: (F4) Some who are farmers use this as an additional outlet for his stuff. They
sell commercially but they also come here to sell.
U-pickum.: (F4) Do you know Roger farmers, he has a field he grows his stuff in and he
sells directly to consumer. He is a grower he is a u-pickum. Some people here have a u-
pickum and they sell here to.
Specialized vs. diversify: (F4) People like Andy grow herbs, I primarily grow
vegetables and some growers specialize grow one or two things corn and peppers. There
are other growers who grow a multitude of things. (F3) Either go diversification or
specialization, whether you have a few select things that are your main stay or try to
grow enough of everything so that when someone shows up you'll have something that
they want. Specialization seems to be the trend of the 90's is.
Board Member: (F4) Most people volunteer who are very interested and want to
participate. We set the policy. We decide when the market is open and who will sell and
who doesn't. Every person here has to go to their county agent and swears to him what he
sells he grows and produces and then he can go inspect and so does the board of directs.
You can buy a plant people have to have a plant in their possession for six months. Not
the only criteria, you have to buy an annual permanent, or pay everyday. Also have to be
here a half an hour to fifteen minutes before the market opens. You are responsible to
clean up your space and not leave any trash around, .(F3) The board the people who make
the rules and solve the markets problems.
These folk terms that were at first elicited from the growers were indicated to
belonging to a single domain, i.e. people who participate in the farmers' market. A domain
analysis is the process through which the ethnographer comes to recognize any symbolic
category that includes other categories in the informants culture (Spradley 1979: 100). All
domains include at least two terms which are linked together by a single semantic
relationship and a cover term. A semantic relationship is one that explores the meanings of
the words and how they are related to one another in a single domain. Spradley (1979)
lists several types of semantic or universal relationships to use in searching for domains.
Semantic relationships indicate the structure of the relationship which is being examined by
the ethnographer. The domain of people who participate in the farmers' market is a strict
inclusive relationship such that one term is a kind of the other term. However, it did not
provide the detailed information I was searching for it only provided the cover terms or
surface. Once the ethnographer has determined the relationship he/she wishes to explore
he/she searches through the information given by the informants looking for domains. The
easiest way to search for domains is to search for nouns that maybe the cover term of
interest. Cover terms are names for a category of cultural knowledge. Below is a domain
analysis which examines the relationship between people at the farmers' market.
The Domain of People at the Farmers' Market
1. Semantic Relationship: strict inclusion
2. Form: x is a kind of Y
Included Terms (X) Semantic Relationship Cover Term (Y)
Board Member is a kind of person at the Market
The domain analysis allows the ethnographer to understand in what realms of the
informant's world he places certain relationships. These relationships can be derived
through asking structural questions and through card sorting. In this analysis I was able to
get information through asking structural questions such as: "Could you tell me about all
the different people involved in the farmers' market?". The goal of the domain analysis is
to begin an understanding of how the insider or informant classifies his/her culture.
In order to get deeper into the growers world I needed to know not only what
terms were included in a domain, but the terms included within each folk term within a
domain in order to clarify meaning, i.e. a taxonomic analysis. A taxonomic analysis is a
method used to get at an understanding of the meanings in each of the included terms
within a domain. A taxonomic analysis differs from a domain analysis in that it attempts to
demonstrates the relationship of all the folk taxonomies within a domain. So that you not
only search for the terms included in the domain but also the subset among the terms
included. This analysis can lead to an in-depth analysis or a broader surface or holistic
analysis. The ethnographer is trying to reveal all the symbols in a domain, find the
subsets, and then discover the relationships among the subsets. I was trying to reveal all
the symbols within the term grower, find the subsets, and then discover the relationships
among the subsets. The taxonomic analysis is not exhaustive but it does reveal some
meaning and it reveals different levels of meaning. The taxonomic analysis revealed the
diversity behind the term of grower. The term grower encompasses not only farmer, but
plant people, market gardener, and u-pickum farmers.
Taxonomy of Growers
Mcrk t Gardener professor Diversify
Again, however, the analysis needed to go deeper into the insiders culture. This
was provided through componential analysis which is a method used for identifying the
attributes of a cultural symbol. A componential analysis is a method used for identifying
the attributes of a cultural symbol. The attributes or aspects of a symbol are its
distinguishing features or dimensions of contrasts which make it similar or dissimilar to
other symbols within its subset. The attributes of folk definitions are discovered through
asking contrast questions. The goal of the componential analysis is to discover how and
why the people within a particular culture classify items in the way that they do.
Contrasts Between the Different Kinds cf Growers
,i Sell only in Works outside Sells whole Sells Fruit & Specialize in
.,,,,,,,,, ...,.. ,,,. Market Produce Plant Vegetable 1 or 2 Products
Market Gardener Yes Sometimes Yes Yes Rarely
U-Pickum No No No Yes Yes
Farmer Rarely No No Yes Yes
Plant Person Maybe Sometimes Yes No Sometimes
Through asking structural and contrast questions to elicit the taxonomies organized
above I learned several important factors concerning the relationships at the market. When
discussing the domain of kinds of people at the farmers' market, the folk terms of grower
and customer were emphasized the most during the interview. Very few informants
discussed the market manager or board members unless directly questioned. This I believe
is not a result of the informants not having knowledge of these other roles of people in the
market. But rather a bilateral function of the market place itself to sell and to buy and in turn
stress on the dichotomy of the customer and the grower. Through this analysis and
interviews I was able to learn that one of the themes in the market is as one informant put it
"you have to sell your produce to make it worth growing it".
Growers also had different ways of classifying themselves. This I believe is a result
of the diversified backgrounds of the growers. Grower's generally categorized each other
by what they sold and how they grew the items. Some grower's did not think that there
were any different kinds of growers. Most of those that did classify growers indicated that
the largest group of growers were probably Market Gardeners. Market gardeners are
growers who only sell their items at the market place. There were several different kinds.
The majority are thought to be either retired or as having another more stable job for their
main source of income which does not involve growing. What I had defined as a small
family farmer in my proposal is defined within the culture as a farmer. There are no people
at the market that are thought to belong to a small family farm who sold only one or two
items and used the market as their only outlet. A factor always discussed was weather the
grower was specified or diversified. At the market there is a fair distribution of each type.
There were varying opinions on which method of produce was more lucrative
The ethnosemantic analysis aided the ethnographer in understanding the framework
or the structure of how informants organized their world. Problems arose, however,
because although the growers all share a similar cultural scene for the most part the
farmers' market is not their sole sustenance and it is not a place they spend a lot of time.
Most growers only come during the on-season which lasts only about four months.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN SELLING AT THE MARKET?
How among the diversity of growers at the Market do they organize their
experiences in order to cope with familiar (scripts) and unique situations (plans) (Shank
and Abelson 1977:1-77). Cognitive science attempts to understand the nature of
knowledge, and how it develops, and how it is used in understanding behavior.
Traditionally the focus was on understanding universal knowledge systems. Behavior was
thought to be hierarchically organized because memory was thought to have a semantic
structure. The idea was that people acted on a set of instructions that were stored in
memory. The memory is organized in a hierarchical fashion using class membership as the
basic link so that behavior was a result of a sequence of operations. In the 1970s' it was
realized that frames and schemas meant very little when one does not understand their
context. To say that the reader brings with him a large body of structured knowledge to a
task is not enough. One has to understand the context because the organization of the
knowledge may differ from one domain to another.
Shanks and Abelson (1977:1-77) introduced the idea of episodic memory.
Episodic memory is organized around personal experience. When people remember, they
remember things in terms of experiences and how these experiences relate to one another.
Knowledge and therefore behavior is context bound. Although the specific content of
knowledge is context bound the form of language and behavior is thought to be universal.
This concept is referred to as conceptual dependency theory which is based on two criteria.
First that regardless of language there should be only one representation of any two
sentences. The first point is grounded in the idea that the meanings underlying languages
are conceptualizations which have both an active form and a stative form. All sentences
have an actor doing something to an object. If you want to know the meaning then it is
necessary to look at the elements that make up that meaning, i.e. the actor in action and the
object of that action. Shanks and Abelson suggest that sentences from all languages can be
worked down to be represented by only eleven primitive acts. The second point is that the
implicit information in a sentence must be made explicit in the pre-presentation of the
meaning of that sentence. The second point is further clarified by the idea that the specific
context is formed by the individual involved. Because memory and experience are
extricable bound to behavior context is always revealed. In addition, generalist theory has
now ingrained into this search the idea that one cannot hope to understand the text through
only knowing what the sentences mean you have to take them as the sum of their parts.
The problem in understanding a text or even a sentence, however, is that people try
to be concise and may leave out information which they believe can easily be inferred.
Often the causal relationship or causal chain is missing because the individual believes that
the reader is familiar enough with the situation to fill in the blanks. In order to economize in
the storage of memory, experiences which are alike may be stored in terms of a
standardized or generalized memory which is referred to as a script. Therefore a simple
understanding of the primitive acts is not enough and the missing relationship causality
cannot always be taken at face value, because it relies on an understanding of the specific
context of the script.
Scripts are used to determine specific knowledge. Specific knowledge is
knowledge we use to interpret and participate in specific events we have been though many
times. Scripts are knowledge systems used by the individual on an unconscious basis.
They are used when the act is so routine or frequently that it allows one to act upon it
automatically and unconsciously. The ethnographer illicit a script from an informant by
asking grand tour and descriptive questions or questions about events and occurrences
which the informant deals with routinely. At the farmers' market I asked the informants
"what is involved in selling your produce at the farmers' market" and then proceeded to ask
for more detail in order to illicit decisions. The act of selling items at the farmers' market is
something that all the growers do routinely. The following is a script elicited.
How to sell produce at the farmers' market
1. The grower must plant and grow the product.
if you do not grow the item then you will not be able to sell it at the market
2. The vegetables or items have to be picked.
If you have a small garden or are a market or rotiller gardener then you usually pick
the items yourself by hand.
If you are a farmer and have a lot of items, maybe you sell to more than one outlet
then you may either have some type of machine that picks or you may hire out pickers.
If you have vegetables that can be refrigerated then they are picked and boxed the
night before market day. This includes cucumbers, peppers, and okra.
If the vegetables cannot be refrigerated then they are picked the morning of the
market so as to be as fresh as possible. These include things such as arugala, basil and
3. Arrive at the market the morning of market day.
ifyou do not get there at least a half hour before the market opens then you are not
ready when the customers come in and you might loose some business.
4. Go to your area or stall and park your car.
if you did not pay an annual fee to reserve an area for the entire year then you have
to pay the manager every Saturday that you come, which is more expensive, and he assigns
you to a space that is unoccupied.
5. You tell the market manager what you are selling that day.
if you do not tell the manager what is available then you may loose customers. The
manager puts a board by the road which lists all the days produce and also puts it on the
answering machine for anyone who calls in.
6. Set-up your display.
If you have tables then you set you items on the ground.
If you have not boxed all you produce the night before then you box it at the
market. However, the boxes cannot be worth more than the produce you are selling.
If you have a large variety of items which most people do then you try to artistically
arrange the produce so that it appealing to the senses especially a lot of color, Mix the
different colors of items.
If you have signs or boards which advertise what you have and how much it costs
then you might use stickers on individual items which the plant people do a lot
If you do not have signs, boards, or stickers then you always have customers
asking you how much items are.
7. Count up how much money you have.
8. Then you wait patiently for the customers to come to you.
If you are friendly ,honest, and informative about the items you sell then your
more likely to ensure that customer will come back to you if he is happy with you and what
If you are not friendly or give false information then the customer will no longer
trust you and will probably not come back to buy any of your items.
The actions within a script only make sense insofar as they are part of a stored
pattern of actions that have been previously experienced. So the point here is to discover
information which is restricted by the understanding of the grower and which the outsider
would not necessarily comprehend if he did not know the rules of that society. In the
growers mind there are eight basic steps in how to sell at the farmers' market. The
following is an explanation of why each of these steps is important in terms of the
First, the items have to be grown by the seller to be able to sell produce at the
market. Why is there a causal relationship here? The answer is that you can only sell items
at the market which you sell so in order to sell something at the market you must first grow
your item. Second, the items must be picked either the night before or that morning. This
is important to the grower because he/she believes that the customer wants fresh produce.
The grower wants to keep the customers happy to ensure that they will return to buy more.
Third, the grower arrives to the market before the market opens. The grower understands -
that if he/she arrives after the customers then they may lose some business. Fourth, the
grower must have a space at the market to park his/her car in. At the market there are
marked spaces which are rented out on a yearly basis that are covered with either an awning
shade or a solid roof. These spaces are large enough to park your car in and to have your
stand. It is better and cheaper to have a permanent stall at the market. The permanent
spaces ensure that the grower will have a place to sell his/her produce and keep them out
the rain. In addition, the building is the focus of the market and so growers prefer to be
part of the building rather than out along the fringes because they believe the customers are
drawn to first towards the building. Therefore, if you do not have a permanent space you
may have to set-up in an area which is not covered, has no room for your car, and is
located along the fringes of the market place. Fifth, the growers tell the manager what
produce they are selling that day. This ensures that the growers items are included in the
advertisements for the market. Six, the growers set up their display. In order to sell your
items you have to have them visible to the public in some form either put on the ground or
on some type of table or stand. The products have to be potted or boxed so that they can be
easily carried away by the customer. Prices have to be fixed so that the customer knows
how much he/she is expected to pay for an item. Signs are used to draw customers to your
stall. The merchant believes that a variety in color attracts the consumer and increases
his/her chance of selling an item. So produce is arranged in a way which appears colorful
when possible. Seven, the grower counts up how much money he/she has. This is so the
merchant knows how much money he has made in a particular day and can determine his
days profits. Hopefully the grower will sell all their produce and not have to eat the rest
themselves or can it for the future. In addition, the grower hopes to make enough money
to pay for renting the space for the day. Eight, wait patiently for the customers. The
growers to not try to badger customers into buying their products at this market. They feel
that this will only annoy the customer. One of the most important aspects of the selling to
the grower is that he/she be friendly and honest. If a grower is honest about the product,
then the customer is more likely to be happy with the purchase and to return to buy items
from that grower.
Therefore in order to understand the script of how to sell at the farmers' market one
must be already familiar with the rules and the experience of selling at the market.
Otherwise the individual steps in the process would not necessarily seem connected, i.e.
they often are missing their causal change. However, not all situations are routine some are
The steps that the individual uses to deal with the unique or infrequently
encountered situation is called a plan. Sometimes there is an event which we either
experience infrequently or never experienced before and we are still able to act on it.
General knowledge enables people to understand actions which one infrequently
encounters simply because people have certain standard needs in the same domain which
has a standard method of fulfilling those needs. This type of knowledge can be accessed
through examining plans provided by the informants. Plans are used in unusual situation in
which the individual is not placed in on a routine basis. A plan may be elicited in several
ways. The ethnographer may witness what he or she believes is an unusual occurrence
verify it with the informant and then ask the informant how they dealt with the situation.
The informant may bring up the presence of an unusual situation within the course of an
interview which was not elicited. Finally the ethnographer may simply asks the informant
to think of an unusual situation and then to describe how he/she dealt with it. In this
instance I conducted the latter. The following is a plan of an infrequent experience
encountered at the farmers' market.
How to deal with pinwheelers or people who are selling produce at the
market that they did not grow.
1. you notice that someone has something that you do not think they grow.
2. you write out a complaint
3. you give complaint to the market manager
4. you make sure that the manager took up the problem with the board and the extension
5. you notice that the person is either no longer selling at the market or no longer selling
A plan is made up of general information about how actors achieve goals. A plan
explains how a given state or event was a result of another event. Plans describe a set of
options that a person has when he sets out to accomplish a goal. In this case, my
informant told me that an unusual occurrence at the market was the presence of pinwheelers
or people who are selling items which they are not suppose to be.
The growers' first decision was determining that the pinwheeler was doing
something wrong. This was based on the general rules he/she knew of the Alachua County
Farmers' Market The grower must only sell items that she/he personally grew. No
reselling of items is permitted. However, plant growers must at least have a plant in their
possession for three weeks or more before selling it. The items must be fresh and not
include poultry, processed food, meat, seafood, eggs, live animals, manufactured or
imported goods. Based on this knowledge the grower may determine if someone is a
pinwheeler, an example may be someone selling bananas. Then the grower has to decide
what to do about it. The informant stated that he/she may chose to confront the person.
However, the grower chose to write a formal complaint and let the market manager deal
with it because that is his job. The informant knows that the market manager is
responsible for enforcing the market iules. The rules also state that if a grower has a
problem with the legitimacy of the produce of another grower that he/she must write a
formal complaint. You might then ask the manager, if you are not on the board, if he has
taken up the problem with the board and the extension office. The grower knows that the
board makes market decisions. The grower also knows that in order to sell items at the
market you have to have a permit for those items indicating that you grew them and that
you get the permit through the Alachua County Extension Office. Therefore the Extension
Office can inform the market if that person has a permit for selling that item. The
Extension Office and board members may confront the person and go out to their garden
or farm for verification. If the person was not actually growing the items they may be
barred from ever selling at the market again. So the grower dealt with his/her new situation
of noticing a pinwheeler based on the general rules she/he already knew about the Alachua
County Farmers' Market.
The plans and script collected from grower's at the market not only demonstrated
what is routine and what is not at the market but also how grower's make their decisions
and what common knowledge is shared in the grower's domain.
HOW DO FARMERS DECIDE TO SELL AT THE ALACHUA COUNTY
The ethnosemantic data outlined above provided the contextual information for
understanding the logic behind the decisions people make at the farmers' market. At each
step within the script and plan the informant usually had an alternative method he or she
could use --- they had to make decisions which might either be attentive or pre-attentive
(Gladwin 1989 and 1992). This chapter discusses and exemplifies decision tree modeling
which models how the insider or informant makes decisions within his/her culture. The
model focuses on predicting decision behavior. Decision tree modeling developed out of a
need to reformulate the methods and theories used by economist in decision making.
Economists were the first to try and model people's decisions and they did this based on
rational choice theory. Rational choice theory is the idea that people are able to synthesize
all data they need at one time. People will always make a decision based on either
maximizing their own satisfaction or minimizing it. From this grew the idea of transitivity
such that if you had three choices say A, B, and C and you knew B was preferred to C
because B is greater than C, then automatically someone would chose A over C.
However, Tversky (1972) disputed these ideas even though he did not come up with a
better way to mode! decisions. He stated that man' s processing capabilities are limited and
intransitive. Sometimes decisions are made based on emotion or on a moral dimension and
that rationality is bounded.
The way was then opening for decision tree models, which model indigenous
knowledge systems, that is they try to draw emic decisions rather than etic (Gladwin 1989
and 1992). The methods of producing a decision tree incorporate both ethnoscience and
cognitive anthropological methodologies. Interviews produce taxonomies and componential
analysis help the ethnographer to understand why people make the decision they do within
context. Cultural themes are important because the also provide insider's context and how
they model their universe. The entry conditions for scripts and plan are points at which
people make decisions. At each step or point the informant had to make a decision, these
decisions may be either attentive or pre-attentive depending on whether the decision is
based on a script or a plan. Scripts and plans can help the ethnographer to determine what
decisions may be important in a particular society to study. When producing decision tree
models ethnographers often forget that they are modeling only one of several decisions
within the context being studied. The ethnographer must pick a decision which is relevant
to the culture and the best way to determine this is to derive the question from the culture
itself. The decision should be an either/or type question such as why you decide to do or
not to do something. For the purposes of this project I chose to model whether farmers
chose to use the Alachua County Farmers' Market or not, and why or why not. The
decision to sell at the farmers' market or not to sell at the farmers' market like all other
decisions isjust one of many decisions farmers and growers make. Below is a table which
clarifies my point
1) Is full-time growing/farming a viable strategy for survival or do I grow for enjoyment?
2) Do I have enough produce to feed my family and to sell?
3) Should I sell or not to sell at the farmers' market?
4) Will specializing or diversifying my produce increase my sales at the market?
Gladwin (1989) refers to this type of analysis as "letting the thing out". By realizing
that decisions flow into one another the ethnographer can come to terms with the final
model. Models often become complicated and "go out of control" because asking about one
decision leads in to criteria which affect other decisions. This type of examination helps to
put the decision being studied into context. As we will see below, the tree for "do or don't
sell at the farmers' market" became very complex as it ran into other issues. The decision
overlaps into to many domains because as I learned through the taxonomic study there are
several kinds of growers each with different backgrounds.
Constructing the Model
To construct the model "do sell at the market; don't sell at the market", I had to
interview people who use the market as an outlet for their produce and people who do not.
I received a list (Brinen 1993) from the Alachua County Extension of Office of small
farmers in the county who want to sell their produce. I cross compared the list to the list of
growers at the market and then called only farmers I knew were not selling at the market. I
did personal interviews of those farmers/growers selling at the market. Selecting from both
groups, i.e., from farmers who use the market and those who do not, allowed me to model
both the motivations and the constraints of the decision. The first composite model is
based on ten interviews five from each'group. The question addressed here will provide
a description of who is using the farmers' market as well as a model of why the current
merchants chose to participate in the farmers' market. Below is a composite list of the
motivations and constraints and a composite model tree.
The model indicates that almost exclusively the small family farmer is isolated from
the use of the market. Most of the people using the farmers' market either have a secondary
outlet for their produce which is extremely profitable and only sell at the farmers' market
for the social scene and a little extra cash or they are retired and wanted a hobby they would
enjoy (F5 & F4). F5 has been selling his plants at the market for the last 3 years and was
drawn to the market because the people were nice and the customers seemed interested in
List of criteria elicited from small farmers in Alachua County concerning
the Alachua County Farmers' Market
1. Do I have enough plants that I grow myself that I can sell?
1. Do I have enough vegetables to sell once I feed my family?
2. Can I sell direct to the consumer?
2. Can I get a lot of exposure to the public?
3. Can I make some extra money?
3. Can I make some extra money to supplement my fixed income?
3. Can I make enough money to finance my garden and pay for other activities that I enjoy?
3. Can I make any money selling at the farmers' market?
4. Is selling at the market free?
4. Is the cost of membership too high to be able to make a profit?
5. Am I ensured an area to sell?
5. Am I ensured an area every week where I can display my produce?
6. Am I familiar with the customers at the market?
6. Are the customers interested in buying house plants?
6. Does the market draw customers who are interested in my produce?
7. Are the growers at the market friendly?
7. Do I like the other growers at the market?
8. Will the market provide me with part-time work?
8. Is farming my only source of income (full-time farmer)?
9. Does the work involve working on my farm?
9. Do I enjoy selling my produce?
10. Do I have the time to set-up at the market?
10. Do I have enough time remaining to take care of my other responsibilities?
11. Does the market provide a community service?
12. Is the market open to few days and draw to few customers for me to make a profit?
12. Is the market open to few days of the week to meet my needs?
12. Can I get more customers through other avenues such as advertising in the paper?
13. Is the market to far from my farm?
13. Is the market to far from my farm to be convenient?
14. Do I need to sell in bulk at the market?
(Sell at Farmers' Market; Don't sell at Farmers' Market)
Do I have enough plantsivegetables that I grow myself to sell?
F1, F3, F4 & F
Can I afford the 4
Do I have the time to
sell at the market?
Am I ensured an area
to display my produce?
Is the market convenient
Does the market allow me to
sell the amount of produce
which I need?
Sell at the
F1, F2, F3,
F4, & F5
Do I have other sources of income other than farminglgrowing?
Part-time farmer s no
Is it important that I make
some extra money at the market
5 / \no P2
yes 2 r11
-2yes Is it important hat the market
function as a community service
Is growing and selling
11 | ---yes- produce at the market
et I enjoyable to me?
Are the other
Does the market
provide me with
to the public?
Are the customers
interested in my
(Sell at Farmers' Market; Don't sell at Farmers' Market)
Can I make a profit?
I \ W--q
don't sell l
Can I afford membership
costs and still make a profit ?
Is the ma
F7, F8, F6
F8, F9, F10
rket open enough days of the week and
ugh customers to meet my needs?
Do I have the time?
is the market close enough to my farm?
Does the market allow me to sell
all the produce I need to make a living?
F9 & P10
his product. The social aspect of the market was a theme that came out often during these
interviews. Almost everyone mentioned the presence of friendly customers and merchants
as an attraction of the market. F4 is retired and really enjoys growing. He wanted some
part-time work that would allow him to experiment with growing and make a little money
too. Some of the market informants have a second job or another source of income (Fl &
F3). F1 stated that she really enjoyed gardening and that it was a family tradition to have a
garden. "It got to the point where we had more than we could eat so I thought I could sell
the extra." In addition, the market helps to finance her other hobbies. Her family has a
second source of income which does not involve farming. F3 really likes growing plants
and enjoys the social scene. He has a second job that does not involve growing. F2 is an
exception to the kind of grower at the market Her main concern with the market is that it is
a community service rather than as a place to make some extra money. All the other
informants mentioned profit as their top priority. F2's position on the issue is easily
explained as she is a ministers wife and feels that the market is good for the community.
The market is difficult for many small farmers to use because it is not open long
enough and it does not attract enough customers. This was a main concern for F7 and F10
as they need to be able to sell a lot more produce than the market can allocate out. It is
therefore difficult for them to sell enough produce to make a living. For those such as F8
who believe that she could make a profit -- she simply does not have the time to take away
from her farm, it is not convenient for her or worth the time/money. F9 states that he has a
single crop which he relies on, blueberries, and that the market is not conducive to handling
the sale of crops in bulk. F6 believes the market fees are too high and that he can make
more money by just advertising in the newspaper and having customers come to him. One
of my main interest in the next phase of decision modeling was to see if there exist this
strong division between those who solely rely on agriculture and do not use the market and
those who use the market and are only part-time growers.
Testing the Model
Once the model was produced, the next step was to determine how well it
effectively explained the parameters of farmers reasons and constraints concerning the
farmers' market Thus the model had to be tested in order to determine the strength of its
predicting ability. I interviewed ten new informants: five who use the market and five who
do not. I did not make a formal questionnaire, but rather made ten copies of my model
decision tree and took it to the field with me. Each informant was asked about each
motivation and constraint on the decision model. Below is the composite model with the
new informants decisions placed on it.
The testing of the model indicated that it predicts successfully 80% of the
informants interviewed. Three of the informants who sell at the market F11, F12, and F13
passed all the constraints of part-time farmers. F11 and her husband are retired and enjoy
gardening. They like F4, who was one of the initial informants, felt that it would be a good
way to make a little extra money doing something that they enjoy. F12 is a school teacher
and her husband is a farmer. She stated that they can get a good price at the market but
mostly she comes because she enjoys the social scene. Since their income does not rely
solely on farming I considered them part-time farmers. F13 is a part-time farmer who
passed all the constraints and sells at the market to make a little extra money. Of those
growers interviewed during the testing phase at the market there were two errors,
informants F14 and F15. F14 is a full-time farmer and stated that there are not enough
customers at the market for him to sell all his produce and make a living. However, he
comes to the market because he enjoys talking to people and his daughter does most of the
work. She gets the produce ready and sells it. She has a part-time job. But all the produce
is from his farm. There was one other full-time farmer at the market and he sells organic
produce, F15. He said that the most important thing to him was selling his produce
locally. He could not make a living by selling at the market but he was not necessarily
concerned with that as he has other outlets for his produce.
(Sell at Farmers' Market; Don't sell at Farmers' Market)
Do I have enough plantsivegetables that I grow myself to sell?
8Do I have other sources of income other than farmi
Do I have other sources of income other than fanninggrovwing?
\ f Fll-ti
5 ( yes
Am I ensured an area
to display my produce?
10 j .
Do I have the time to
sell at the market?
Is the market convenie
Does the market allow me to
sell the amount of produce
which I need?
Sell at the
FP, F2, F3,
F4, & F5
F11, F12, F13
F1, F3, F4 & F5
Can I afford the --
Is it important that I make
some extra money at the market
o \no F2
s N F
Ss Is it important that the market
S function as a community service
Is growing and selling
yes- produce at the market
enjoyable to me?
Are the other
Does the market
---yes -- provide me with
to the public?
Are the customers
interested in my
(Sell at Farmers' Market; Don't sell at Farmers' Market)
Can I make a profit?
Can I afford membership
costs and still make a profit ?
Is the market open enough days of the week and
draw enough customers to meet my needs?
dont se Do I have the time?
at Market e
F7 P8, F 6 ye
F20 yno 13
P8, F9, F10
F14 & F15 error
Is the market close enough to my farm?
Does the market allow me to sell
the amount of produce I need to
make a living?
F9 & F10
There were no errors in prediction concerning the farmers interviewed for the
testing phase of the project who do not sell at the market. F16 and F17 indicated that the
market did not allow them to sell in bulk in their peak season which they need to make
enough money to survive. F18 indicated that they were retired farmers and only took
produce to local stores. They do not have the time and the market it too far from their farm.
They live in Archer. F19 stated that she and her husband have a single crop which they
need to sell in bulk. They would like to sell at the market but they just don't have the time.
They have thought of asking someone else to sell their produce for them at the market, but
they understand that the person who grows the produce has to sell it. F20 also stated that
he needs to sell in bulk and he just can not make enough money there for it to be worth his
The testing of the model indicated that there were some errors with it, probably
because of my small sample size. I had not interviewed full-time farmers who sold at the
market. Both full-time farmers at the market told me that they rarely saw other full-time
farmers at the market. They both also stated that they really enjoy the social atmosphere
which the market provides. Farmers who do not sell at the market did not provide me with
any new insights during the testing phase.
The Alachua County Farmers' Market in Gainesville, Florida was established in
1987 as a means for the resuscitation of the small family farmer. The goal of this paper
was to determine if the small family farmer was using the market for their produce outlet
and if not why. Is the market a feasible means for the resuscitation of the small Florida
Ethnosemantic analysis demonstrated that there are several types of growers at the
market including farmers, market gardeners, plant-people, and u-pickums. Cognitive
analysis indicated that although these people are a diverse representation of growers they
share a common cultural scene at the farmers' market. As such they have similar means for
handling common and unusual situations within their cultural scene. The common script at
the farmers' market, which each grower goes through several times, is selling their
produce at the market. An unusual situation was for there to be pinwheelers or people who
try to sell produce at the market that they have not grown. Why is this important? Because
it directs us to one of the main themes of the market, which is that the growers at the market
are all growers of the items that they sell. This is central rule of the market and it is
maintained by the Alachua County Extension Office as means for the market to uphold it
original goal to support local farmers.
In order to determine why most of the growers chose to sell at the market instead
of elsewhere was the next phase of the research. The decision model elicited from farmers
and growers delineated the bottom line that all of the merchants interviewed at the market
either do not make a living off farming full-time or they have other outlets for their
produce. The market is not seen as a viable means of survival for the small farmer. Most pf
the growers at the market are market growers, that is they usually grow just enough
produce for their family and to sell at the market. Constraints of the market included not
being able to make a profit because of the market fees, not enough customers, can not take
the time to set up, and not able to sell enough produce in bulk. If the market wanted to
attract more full-time small farmers it would need to be open more and draw a larger
consumer interest to make it worth the time and effort for small farmers to become
interested in selling their produce there. In a previous study of the farmers' market
Elizabeth Dunn (198--) emphasized that the Alachua County Farmers' Market should not be
created on the outside of town to the expense of the in-town market. The in-town market
was convenient for customers and drew numerous patronage. It was feared that the market
outside town would not attract as many customers. In fact the lack of customers is one of
the main constraints listed by small family farmers in the area. Of course it is not possible
to look back and to now suggest a change in the market location. But the market should
consider being open morc days of the week and drawing in more customers.
On the other hand there were some full-time farmers who sold at the market, but
only those that have other outlets for their produce. These farmers indicated that one of the
main reasons they come to the market is to socialize and to maintain ties with the local
community and economy. This was also one of the themes of the market. All the growers
indicated that they enjoyed engaging in conversation with customers and other growers
almost as much as selling their goods. Other motivations for selling at the market included
the ability to make some extra money, being able to sell direct to the consumer, and having
a convenient and reliable place to sell produce.
One of the goals of this research was that it be of some use in assessing the future
direction of the farmers' market. The board members of the farmers' market can hopefully
use this data to determine if the goals of individual merchants matches what they wish to
achieve with the market in the future. This information should aid them in determining
how they may have to alter their current objectives to achieve future goals.
Brinen, Gary H.
1993 Agricultural Directory of Growers who Sell Directly to Consumers 1993.
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1993 Printed by the Alachua County Extension Service, Gainesville, Florida.
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1983 Making it Work in Small Farm America. Culture and Agriculture Newsletter
1989 Ethnographic Decision Tree Modeling. Newbury Park, CA:
1992 Doing Ethnography with Decision Trees. Mimeo, unpublished.
Gladwin, Christina and John Butler
1982 Gardening: A Survival Strategy for the Small, Part-time Florida Farm.
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1984 Is Gardening an Adaptive Strategy for Florida Family Farmers? Human
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19-- How not to Lose your Shirt Gardening. Florida Cooperative Extension
Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Circular 601.
Gladwin, Christina and Elizabeth Dunn
19-- Gainesville Needs Farmers' Markets. Unpublished flyer.
(ladwin, Christina H. and Robert Zabawa
1986 After Structural Change: Are Part-time or Full-time Farmers Better Off?
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Gladwin, Christina H. and Robert Zabawa
1984 Microdynamics of Contraction Decisions: A Cognitive Approach to
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1977 Scripts. Plans. Goals, and Understanding. New York: Wiley and Sons.
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1972 The Cultural Experience. Waveland Press.
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