Many people associate Farmer’s Markets with greenie, progressive types with little in common with conservatives.

University of Michigan student Derek Draplin argues that stereotype is full of organic debris, as the system clearly has free market roots and can-do conservative appeal.

Farmer’s markets are a perfect example of the free market at work. Farmers, families, small businesses, and artisans come together to sell their goods and products, and and others come to purchase; it is a simple example of exchange. Often, there is little to no regulation; perhaps only a small fee for space to set up and directions on when and where to do so – practically anybody can buy or sell. Competition is at work with the adjustment of prices and the quality of produce and other goods. I have never been to a farmer’s market where a monopoly controls the market or a governing body overreaches with regulations on vendors. Abuses of the market are virtually nonexistent: most of the time, farmer’s markets are small enough where participants find no gain in taking advantage of each other, or simply cannot do so. Best of all, eclectic tastes are easily fulfilled by variety, thanks to competition.

Farmer’s markets put community and health first (and no, I am not going to examine the benefits of organic produce). By shopping at farmer’s markets, Conservatives can shed the materialism, consumerism, and individualism associated with mainstream Conservatism. In doing so we would be (or already are) supporting and strengthening our community ties through localism and agrarianism which both have conservative roots. This support of community would not only be economical but also socially and culturally, since for Conservatives community is the most important institution behind the family.

….Although farmer’s markets sound like an unsavory environment to most Conservatives, they can have great benefits for the individual, the family, and the community. The enlightened Conservative can make the most of their action in such a market by teaching and understanding the “permanent things,” honoring the “little platoons,” and participate in this “voluntary association”. Since the Conservative goal is to conserve institutions starting with the family and community, we must understand that one way to strengthen these institutions is by participating in “Crunchy Con” activities like farmer’s markets.

It may seem overly simplistic or overstated, but there are many invaluable lessons Conservatives are missing out on by avoiding such a “lefty” environment as farmer’s markets. Conservatives can fit in there too.