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Cost of Fresh Tomatoes at Farmers Markets

Rella Aug 22, 2011 06:24 AM

I haven't bought any fresh tomatoes this year from Farmers Markets until this last weekend (Woodstock, VA). I paid $2.50 a lb. Is this about the price you are paying your area?

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    Maryld RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 06:33 AM

    i'm paying around 4.00 a pound for heirlooms in Westchester County, NY, However, they are worth it.

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      odkaty RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 06:39 AM

      I stopped at 3 different farmers markets in PG County, MD this weekend and saw prices ranging from $3/lb to $5.50/lb.

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        dmjordan RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 07:05 AM

        I buy 5 medium to large for $5. I'm guessing it's about 2.5/3 lbs. This is in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.

        1. monavano RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 07:10 AM

          In the DC/Northern Va area, prices are generally $3-$4 per pound. I do my best to find seconds for half price or less.
          I find $4 and above per pound to be odious. I once (ONCE) bought a gorgeous, rather large red and yellow striped tomato for $8. I was so stymied once that thing was weighed and told how much it was, that I handed over my money and got mad at myself later for not walking away.
          Heirloom tomatoes do not need more expensive soil or designer water to grow. They grow just the same as Beefsteak or any other garden variety.
          I hate the price gouging when it comes to tomatoes.
          As an aside, I remember a few years ago, watching a woman pay for 2 tomatoes at a farmers market. She turned around to her husband, totally flabbergasted, and said, "I just paid $5 for this!". I thought to myself, "yup".

          10 Replies
          1. re: monavano
            tcamp RE: monavano Aug 22, 2011 08:32 AM

            Also in NoVa, saw/bought tomatoes in Alexandria on Saturday from 1.75 (regular, local reds) to 3.00 (heirloom) per pound. Prices were about .40 cents cheaper than last week so we must be in high season.

            1. re: tcamp
              monavano RE: tcamp Aug 22, 2011 08:44 AM

              Good price! Which market, may I ask? Old Town/Del Ray?
              (I go to most markets in Alexandria but haven't seen that cheap yet)

              1. re: monavano
                tcamp RE: monavano Aug 22, 2011 12:09 PM

                Old Town, rather surprisingly.

            2. re: monavano
              Bada Bing RE: monavano May 21, 2014 06:57 PM

              To the comment: "Heirloom tomatoes do not need more expensive soil or designer water to grow. They grow just the same as Beefsteak or any other garden variety."

              Heirloom tomatoes are more expensive for several reasons beyond soil and water. They often lack engineered disease resistance. They often take up to a month longer to mature. And they generally do not transport well over long distances. Luckily, I can grow my own. They are expensive, but not without reason.

              1. re: Bada Bing
                monavano RE: Bada Bing May 22, 2014 04:59 AM

                Well, I'm not totally on board with the price, so I'll spend my money accordingly.
                I can generally find seconds for way cheap, and stick with that.

              2. re: monavano
                alegramarcel RE: monavano May 21, 2014 09:40 PM

                Did you ever try to grow an heirloom tomato? I did. Try that is, and for the most part fail. I got a few scrawny tough heirloom tomatoes.

                And after that I said I would NEVER complain about the price of an heirloom tomato again. If it was beautiful - and assuming it was delicious - and it was BIG, then it was probably worth $8 in my opinion.

                I think the most I've ever paid is $6 for a tomato, but I usually pick very small tomatoes because I like to use the whole thing up as soon as I cut it, since they get mealy in the fridge.

                1. re: alegramarcel
                  Bada Bing RE: alegramarcel May 22, 2014 04:40 AM

                  I live in the midwest, and it appears you are in San Diego, CA. In the midwest, it's simple and natural to grow tomatoes. If yours were scrawny, it might be because it's too arid there, or maybe you tried to use a container?

                  Re: containers: my favorite varieties need to be in ground or at least (one might try) in HUGE pots, like big barrels, because of the large root systems and delicate requirements of underground moisture and biome.

                  1. re: Bada Bing
                    ferret RE: Bada Bing May 22, 2014 05:00 AM

                    California is the largest tomato-growing state in the US. It's not a climate issue. I live in the Midwest and find it difficult to grow certain heirloom varieties.

                    1. re: ferret
                      Bada Bing RE: ferret May 22, 2014 05:28 AM

                      Yes, some varieties are better suited to a Southern climate and growing season.

                  2. re: alegramarcel
                    monavano RE: alegramarcel May 22, 2014 04:58 AM


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                  escondido123 RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 08:35 AM

                  At my Farmers' Market in Escondido, heirlooms run from $2.50-$3 a lb last week, at least a dollar more a pound at local groceries.

                  1. ladyberd RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 09:05 AM

                    I'm in NJ and my farmer's market charges $2.50 for most varieties. Heirlooms were $3.50 last weekend.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ladyberd
                      SeaSide Tomato RE: ladyberd Aug 22, 2011 09:09 AM

                      In boston area--$3 for "regular" and $4 fo rheirlooms. Learned to swallow prices after doing my own gardening--If I were selling mine, the cost would have to be higher!

                    2. MsDiPesto RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 01:05 PM

                      I stopped at a roadside stand just outside DC in MD on the way home to VA from work and paid $3 per pound. They were OK, but thickskinned, and the guy swore they were from a local farm town. They did make good BLTs.

                      I haven't been to the farmer's markets this year, they're just too much for my budget.

                      1. l
                        LeoLioness RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 01:19 PM

                        $4/lb in Boston.

                        1. Uncle Bob RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 01:31 PM

                          ...And just think....When I was a Jr, in High School I had an acre (6000 plants) of tomatoes one summer....I was tickled pink to get 30 Cents a pound wholesale for them...$5.00 for a 5 gallon bucket of culls for canning....Thought I was getting rich!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Uncle Bob
                            jnky RE: Uncle Bob Aug 22, 2011 01:33 PM

                            Holy Cow....we are paying 1.25-1.59/lb here at the local Farmer's Market...just did so Saturday :)

                          2. monavano RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 01:40 PM

                            Around $1.60/lb. for seconds used to freeze sauce. I have to say the quality and taste was incredible, so I'm a happy camper ;-)

                            1. chefathome RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 02:16 PM

                              $5/lb for Romas in Alberta. Thank goodness I grow my own tomatoes - I shudder to think of what heirlooms would be!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chefathome
                                monavano RE: chefathome May 21, 2014 11:24 AM

                                Wow, that's high.
                                Romas are nice, but come on!

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                                andrewtree RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 02:21 PM

                                $2.50-$4.00 here in Santa Fe, including for heirlooms, getting very tempted to can some salsa.

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                                  wonderwoman RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 02:43 PM

                                  found one stand at the central square (cambridge ma) market today selling heirlooms for $2/lb -- everyone else was $3. a price war, maybe?

                                  on a side note, here in massachusetts the too short native strawberry season is in late june, and this year was cut short by heavy rains. so i was delighted to find a vendor selling a later-bearing variety today -- a bargain at $6.50/quart.

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                                    FireFlyFiftyFive RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 02:59 PM

                                    Paid $2 a pound for beefsteaks last week in San Diego. Tasted just fine with me.

                                    Heirlooms were $3.50 or so.

                                    1. Karl S RE: Rella Aug 22, 2011 03:19 PM

                                      In the Boston area markets, 2.50-3.50 is typical.

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                                        pj26 RE: Rella Aug 23, 2011 04:52 AM

                                        I paid 2 Euros for 500g yesterday in a market in France. Was a guy selling tomatoes (and only tomatoes) that he grew in his back yard.

                                        1. CindyJ RE: Rella Aug 23, 2011 05:29 AM

                                          The tomatoes at the farmers markets here in southeastern PA are still high -- $2.99+/lb. But the produce stands are selling even their heirloom varieties for 99 cents/lb -- a real bargain.

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                                            LOLZ12345 RE: Rella May 21, 2014 11:19 AM


                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: LOLZ12345
                                              jpc8015 RE: LOLZ12345 May 21, 2014 11:31 AM


                                              1. re: jpc8015
                                                monavano RE: jpc8015 May 21, 2014 11:32 AM


                                                (wow, this is fun...)

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