Market Speak

If you don’t yet know the difference between “heritage” and “heirloom,” don’t sweat it. This quick guide to terms often used at farmers markets will bring you up to speed.

Artisan or Artisanal }
Products made by hand and in small batches

Heirloom }
Vintage types of fruits and vegetables, dating back at least 50 years and grown from seeds developed by farmers through years of cultivation and selection

Heritage }
Livestock and poultry raised by farmers and not industrialized for efficient factory production or at the cost of animal well-being

Organic }
Food certified to have been grown or raised without any synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, growth hormones, antibiotics or other chemical inputs

Grass-fed }
Animals that eat a diet of primarily grass, as compared to those fed wholly on grain. What’s the diff? The result is leaner, more intensely flavored meat that’s higher in protein and lower in calories.

Cage-free or Free-range }
Meat, poultry or eggs that come from animals that regularly spend time unconfined and in the open air

Vine-ripened or Tree-ripened } Fruit allowed to fully mature before being picked — meaning it’s harvested at the peak of flavor

Producer-only }
A market whose vendors come from within a 100-mile radius and only sell products they grow, raise, process or make themselves. Products brought in from elsewhere or bought for resale are not allowed.
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