The market in Ferney seems to adopt the opposite approach. Most of the items are not cheap, but the quality is very high. The market is not what we would call a Farmers' Market, because much of the produce is imported (at least from some other part of France, or even further afield), so it is not sold directly to the consumer by the producer. Nor is it totally seasonal: for instance this week there were lots of strawberries on sale, and these would not normally be in season in this part of France until late May / early June. As long as you are happy with this concept, then you are in Foodie Heaven. There is not much in the food line that you can NOT buy on this market. There is meat, fish, bread, cheese, preserves, flowers, herbs, spices, vegetables, fruit, sweets, pancakes, fruit juices, eggs, etc, etc, etc.
When I say "vegetables", I mean every type of vegetable known to man - and good specimens as well. Why is it that in Britain you have to hunt far and wide to buy an Endive of any description when in France there are loads to choose from? The display in the photo below is just one of many similar ones to be seen on Ferney market, and you can see that it includes red lettuce, green lettuce, curly endive, flat-leaved (or Batavian) endive, "Variegato di Castelfranco" chicory and (just at edge of photo at left) some "Pick and mix" salads.
We bought one of the curly endives and the four of us ate some of it at two mealtimes, yet there was still loads left - and the price was just 1 Euro 50. (You can see the label that says "Salade au choix" - basically "take your pick of these" for 1.50).
I am also aware that people in France take more time in choosing what to buy. They umm and ahh and dither, weighing up the pros and cons of a prospective purchase, discussing its merits with the stall-holder, yet no-one minds waiting. The queue for a popular stall may be very long, but no-one complains. Quality is worth the wait. You also get to choose exactly which produce you buy. None of this "I'll have a pound of plums please" and then being given the ratty old sub-standard ones from underneath the counter rather than the good-looking ones at the front. Furthermore many of the sellers offer free samples to tempt you to buy. There is one stall that sells particularly good Jambon Cru, and while you are waiting to be served you are often given several samples to try (without having to ask), despite the fact that this is a premium product and costs a lot.
Some of the items on sale this time were relatively obscure - like these:-
No, not the carrots! On the right the chalkboard advertises "Oca de Perou" (Peruvian Oca), "Capucine tubereuse" (Mashua) and "Cerfeuil tubereuse" (Turnip-rooted Chervil). I can't tell you much about these things, because I have no knowledge of them (though I have heard of Oca and seen it advertised), but it is evident that they are fairly specialist items since they are priced at 12 Euros per kilo. I think that all three are very roughly the equivalent of the Jerusalem Artichoke. Does anyone know / use them?
P.S. As you probably gathered, I didn't take my camera to the market (my focus was on food that day!), but Fiona took a couple of shots, so I am indebted to her for those (above).