Farmers’ markets serve many purposes. They’re a gathering place for the community, they enhance local business and they offer patrons healthy produce, but how can you be sure the greens you’re buying are truly green? Tyler Thayer, director of the Agricultural Institute of Marin’s Farm Audit Program, explains why you can shop with confidence at your local farmers’ market. “In October 2010, there was a news story reporting that some farmers in Los Angeles–area farmers’ markets were not growing what they were selling,” he says. “We like to be proactive rather than reactive, so we started our own internal farm audit program to ensure that that wasn’t happening in our farmers’ markets.” So far, the institute has audited 240 prospective sellers (by making unannounced visits to a farmer’s booth and then, within a week, visiting the farm to make sure that everything offered for sale is actually being grown on the farm) and will not admit new applicants to AIM until they pass an inspection. agriculturalinstitute.org
Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.