Food prices are rising around the world and across the board. Farmers' markets in our back yard are not immune.
At Isela Bautista's vegetable stand at the downtown Tacoma Farmers market this morning, the Yakima farmer priced bunches of asparagus at $2.95.
Her asparagus didn't sell.
A few hours later, she lowered her price to $2.59.
Sales were still slow.
"Last year I was selling for $1.99," she said. "All of my costs are 20 percent higher this year. More gas for the tractors, more diesel for the machinery and the drive from Yakima."
Cheryl Ouelette farms in Pierce County. She doesn't have to drive as far, but reports that the doubling of feed prices has forced her to raise the prices of her free-range chickens from $10 to $12 each and to stop offering discounts for large purchases of pork and ground beef.
"I did not raise most of my prices," Ouelette said. "But I stopped doing [discounted] sales and we're not selling pork by the quarter. We can make up the prices by the piece. We've held on trying not to raise the prices, but at some point we may have to."
She's keeping the price of her boutique pork and beef at $6 per pound -- on par with what supermarkets charge for conventional meat.
"They're selling the same prices are we are," Ouelette said. "Vegetables and pork and plants. All the things that used to be cheaper than us, are right around where we are."
Ouelette tried to shed sunshine on the situation.
"We hope that being small and being very local will help us," she said. "We don't have to pay as much for gas as other farmers who truck their product from farther away."