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Organic Lettuce/'82 Suburban

I was listening to a show from a few weeks ago you may remember, the guy from the foothills of the Catskills who was looking for a used body for his '82 Suburban to haul 26 loads of 1,000 pounds of lettuce every year.

So I started thinking, how much is he grossing to do that? I first thought, prob $3-4/pound… so about $100,000/year. But, I bet he packs it in 1 lb packages and sells for $5, so prob $130,000/yr

Then I thought, wait, ORGANIC lettuce, that’s $6-7/lb easy…then, NY? Manhattan no less, I bet he’s getting $10/lb for this stuff…He’s grossing $260,000/year. With the subsidies, tax breaks etc… he’s doing ok I bet.

What do you guys think he’s making on this?

Prices must be different in your neck of the woods, I guess.
Although I live in a semi-rural area, I am only about 1 hr from Manhattan, with essentially the same supermarket chains as NYC, charging pretty much the same prices as in NYC, and I pay between $4.50 and $5.00/lb for organic lettuce in the supermarket.
If I go to a farmer’s market, I usually pay less.

So–$10 per lb for lettuce in NYC?
I don’t think so.
Maybe $6 or $7, but definitely not $10 per lb.

NYers tend to be very savvy shoppers, and among the markets in NYC is the Fairway chain that sells incredibly high-quality meat, fish, produce, oils, etc for prices lower than what you would pay in a typical supermarket. Most NYers are too savvy to pay high prices when they can go to Fairway and get the same thing for…WAY less than you are assuming is the going price in NYC.

As to how much this guy is making, I won’t speculate.
One of my favorite sayings is…No farmers, no food…so, IMHO, the independent farmer (as opposed to the corporate mega-farmer) is entitled to every penny that he can get for the sweat of his brow.

During the summer and early fall, I get my produce from a local farm that runs a CSA (community-sponsored agriculture) program. You join–sort of like a club–before the harvest season, and then I go there once each week to pick up my bounty. Each week, I get at least 10 lbs of incredibly fresh produce, and there tends to be so much that I actually split my weekly allotment with a friend, simply because I could not use all of the field-fresh produce that I receive each week. How fresh? It is not unusual for one of the farm hands to pull into the pick-up tent with his ATV and unload produce that was picked–literally–just minutes before.

How much do I pay for this bounty? I calculated it last year, and–assuming that I get ONLY 10 lbs per week of produce, it works out to less than $2.00 per lb for the harvest season of at least 10 weeks. In reality, they actually offer me more than 10 lbs each week, but I refuse some items that I know I won’t use, simply because I don’t want to waste this fresh produce and because any overage is given to the local food bank at the end of the week.

Support your local farmers!!!

I agree completely with VDCdriver. And furthermore, you are an American in a capitalist economy. If you don’t want to buy this guy’s lettuce, just don’t.

Stockbrokers sell a whole lot of nothing, for a whole lot of money, and people buy it all the time. Lettuce is lettuce; you can eat it.

End of rant.

The only way he gets retail prices is selling it himself at a farmer’s market. If he is selling to any store than he is only getting wholesale price which is likely 1/2 of retail or less. Not getting rich.

I didn’t mean to imply he was getting unduly rich…by NO MEANS… I belong to a CSA every year myself, buy local, organic, in season etc. etc. I was just curious about it being worth his while to haul it in himself.