The only way to know for sure whether the food grown and labeled organic at your local farmers market is organic is to ask the grower. Of course he may lie but you must take his word for it, although there are tell-tale signs that will tell you for sure. Organic produce is usually not as shiny or as well proportioned as that grown with artificial fertilizers. There’s reasons for that. The mechanism by which apples, as an example, are so pristine looking and so well polished is often questionable. They’ve been shined up as if they are nothing but a piece of furniture.
On the other hand, the truly organic apple with have no added luster. Their skin will be natural and this may allow for a blemish or two. How did these blemishes happen? The organic nursery manager used no high powered sprays and the organic sprays were not one hundred percent effective. Some gnats and other pests managed to nibble now and then on the apples. After all, all creatures must eat.
Another tell-tell sign could be the size of the fruit. It may vary from large to small to slightly less rounded. Why? Organic farmers cannot afford to select only uniform fruits as bigger farms do; they are after quality in taste and in nutrition and bother less with appearance. Therefore if a seller of a gorgeous bunch of uniform delicious red apples with shiny skins tell you they are organic, look elsewhere.
To be absolutely sure you are getting genuine organic locally grown produce acquaint yourself with their farm. See for yourself how they manage their garden. If they have nothing to hide they probably won’t mind having you look around. They will know that if you like what you see, they have made a good customer. They may even allow you to come out to their farm and select your own.
One more caution: Organic food bought locally when fresh is often far superior to the organic food in supermarkets. Most of it has been there waiting to be selected long past its prime. Ever notice how some broccoli blooms – the green seeded lobes – seems to be turning yellow right before your eyes. The next color will be brown and this may be organic but it is not fresh organic. You then wonder if all the produce is as good for you as it claims to be. What I am trying to say here is organic and home grown go together well.
Another way of finding out whether the local farmer’s market is organic is to ask around among the non-organic farmers. If he is genuine and is doing something out of the ordinary, they will not like it. He will be comparable to an ugly duckling. With the less shiftless farmers that is probably truer; others may sense he is on to something big and they may soon be following him.