Last week I wrote about how much I love a good farmer’s market. Despite this adoration for fresh, locally grown produce, I really know very little about fruits and vegetables. I never know what’s in season, and if it’s anything other than the basics, like apples and tomatoes, I’m clueless! For example I just recently found out that mustard was a plant, LOL! What can I say, I’m a true city girl at heart who’s only use for mustard growing up was to put it on my Nathan’s hotdog .
Having said all this, I realize I need some help. I found this post on Friskylemon.com about how to make your trip to the farmer’s market a successful one, even if you are as naive as I am!
1. Take it all in. When you arrive at the market, take some time to walk around and check out the offerings before your dive in. Most markets have more than on produce vendor, and those vendors may have similar veggies for sale. Scope out which ones are organic and which veggies or fruit look fresher. I always take at least one lap around the market before I pull out my wallet.
2. Bring some cash monies. While there are some farmer’s markets that accept debit cards, I’ve found that most aren’t quite there yet. Make sure that you have some cash with you, or check online to see if your farmers market accepts debit cards.
3. Talk to the people selling your food. One of the wonderful things about a small market is that most of the time, the people selling your food had a hand
in actually growing that food. Introduce yourself! Ask them questions–about how the food was raised, about what they do on the farm. It’s always nice to know exactly where your food is coming from.
4. Buy the weird stuff. Just go for it. Buy veggies that you’re not sure how to prepare. When you get home, Google it and I’m sure you’ll find hundreds of recipes. Be adventurous and experiment with new foods.
5. Be prepared to pay a little more for some things. Pastured eggs and meats ain’t cheap, but so far, I’ve found that grass-fed meats from my farmer’s market run about the same, or a little but less than those at Whole Foods. Generally, animal products at a small market will be a little more expensive than you think, but the veggies are often less expensive than those at the conventional stores.
6. Buy the heavy things last. In your initial market lap, check out which heavy items you might want to get and save those for last. Trust me. Or else you’ll be lugging them around from booth to booth. Ugh.
7. Don’t forget your reusable bags! This one doesn’t need any explaining.
Now that you know how to navigate the farmer’s market there’s nothing stopping you from buying fresh, local produce and meats!
Not sure where your local market is? Check out Local Harvest to find one near you.
Until next time!