Going to the farmers market on a Sunday can be such a relaxing treat! However, going to the farmers market can also be overwhelming and sometimes you don’t even know where to start! To guide you through the artisanal labyrinth that is the farmers market, here are a few helpful tips and hints!
Rise and Grind
If you’re looking for the freshest produce and best the selection, the early bird truly does catch the worm! Farmer’s market veterans all know that in order to get the best produce, you have to be there as early as possible. As tempting as it is to sleep in on the weekends, showing up early to the market will be worth it when you’re admiring your enviable haul.
A small, but important thing that can be overlooked is the necessity of cash. Chances are most vendors will not have the Interact machines to accommodate debit or credit card purchases. Keeping a variety of denominations of cash, especially smaller bills, will save you a lot of time and hassle while dealing with vendors.
To save time, energy and disappointment – know your seasons! Know what fruits and veggies are in season so you can plan ahead and know what you’re likely to see from vendors. Not sure how to figure out what’s in season and when? Check out this awesome interactive map that will let you know what’s in season in what locations!
Ain’t Too Proud To Bag
Bring your own bags! First and foremost, it’s environmentally friendly to minimize plastic bag usage. Additionally, using the large nylon bags that can be purchased at your local grocery store or big box store are more durable and often can hold much more produce than flimsy plastic or paper bags.
The stalls that are closest to the entrance are often the highest priced. Vendors know that people are more likely to purchase as soon as they walk in. Don’t fall into the trap! Take your time and shop around for the best produce andthe best prices. Don’t be afraid to say no and remember, you can always go back to the stalls later.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Often times, local and home-grown produce won’t be perfect. The produce may be shaped funny, have a few imperfections and even be a little dirty. Don’t let this deter you! A few imperfections don’t take away from the fact that it’s delicious andlocal. Just make sure to wash everything when you get home.
Last but not least, be adventurous! If you see a fruit or vegetable that you haven’t tried before, don’t be afraid to ask about it and incorporate it into you pantry. Take advantage of all the farmers market has to offer (especially the knowledge of the vendors themselves). What are your secrets to making the most out of the market? Share with us on our Facebook page!