Sticker shock at the farmers market
An excerpt from the above:
"it was time for the woman to pay for her cherries, and that's when her pleasant visit hit a slight bump. "That'll be $8," said the vendor.
"For Bings? You're kidding," exclaimed the woman.
" 'Fraid not," the vendor politely replied. "They're $4 a pound, and that's a two-pound carton."
The woman abruptly set it down. "Thanks anyway, but I bought Bings last week in the Bay Area for $1.88 a pound."
"Ah," said the vendor, turning to his next customer, "but those cherries weren't from the Hood River Valley." The Portland man happily paid his own $8 tab, then took it upon himself to help the wary visitor understand what it means for a cherry to come from the Hood River Valley. The world's best sweet cherries are grown in Oregon and Washington, he explained. And a lot of people think the Northwest's best cherries come from the Hood River Valley.
He told her about its unique geography, about an hour east of Portland, hemmed by Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. He mentioned the scores of varieties grown there -- the Bings, the Lamberts, the Rainiers and Vans and Royal Annes. He explained the unrivaled difficulty and expense of growing Hood River Valley cherries, the most labor-intensive fruit crop in Oregon. Then he opened the clear plastic carton holding his newly purchased treasure -- fabulously plump and perfectly ripe -- and offered her a sample. She took one of the deep burgundy Bings by its springy stem, cleaned it a little and popped it into her mouth. "Oh, my gosh," she gasped, even before extracting the pit. A moment later she was back at the booth, buying two cartons to take home to California. "The world's best cherries," she said, smiling broadly, "and not even a sales tax."
Doing the math in our schools
Here's a quote from the second editorial:
"Oregon fruits, vegetables and other products could provide a bonanza of health benefits for overweight Oregon schoolchildren, and new vitality, as well, for some Oregon farms and ranches. There are dozens of Oregon products kids could consume every day, including Oregon beef. So why don't more of our schools feature these foods regularly?"
Gosh, I wonder why Oregon schools don't serve locally grown produce? Uh...because its $8 a pound even when the farmer is employing illegal aliens?
I suppose that is part of the appeal of Portland to some folks: the snob value of being able to say you can eat $ per pound cherries...I'd be willing to bet that the Portland local buying cherries doesn't want his income taxes raised enough to buy those Hood River cherries for Oregon's schoolchildren...