Happy First Day of Summer!!
Perfect day to shop the Farmers’ Market. It was a gorgeous morning. There’s nothing I love more than checking out local events, and farmers’ markets are some of my favorites. Where else can you pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, look through local artists’ work, and sample amazing food, It’s among the best forms of entertainment during the warm summer months.
One of the best things about farmers’ markets is that they’re populated by local farmers, vendors, and artists, which means that not only are you scoring great deals on fresh foods, but you’re also doing your part to help your local economy. That said, shopping at farmers’ markets is nothing like Shopping at a grocery store and for the uninitiated it can be intimidating. Here’s what you need to know to have a great experience.
1. Bring Cash
It’s the easiest way to ensure that you have the funds you need to buy what you want and not overspend. Put yourself on a budget, but bring a few extra bucks for impulse buys – you might see a bracelet that catches your eye, or a tomato farmer might be offering a fantastic deal for larger quantities.
2. Choose Your Time
If you want the absolute freshest produce and the most selection, arrive bright and early. On the other hand, by shopping later in the day – say, an hour before the market closes – you can get the best discounts. Since most vendors don’t want to take home their products, they’re more willing to strike a deal.
4. Be Prepared
If you live rather far from the closest farmers’ market or have other errands to run afterward, stash a cooler in the back of your car to keep fruits and veggies cool and fresh.
5. Try Something New
One of the best parts of farmers’ markets is sampling new products and foods that you might have missed at the grocery store. Keep an open mind and ask for samples – your new favorites might surprise you.
6. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how the food was grown, or how to prepare a new food you’d like to try. They know that the more confident you feel about their products, the more likely you will be to head back for more in the future.
7. Buy In Season
Check out any farmers’ market and you’ll see that the berries are plentiful in May, the corn is perfect in August, and apples and peaches abound in September. Knowing which fruits and veggies are in season can help you net the best deals.
8. Grab Bulk Portions
Farmers’ market vendors are usually delighted to sell large quantities of food.
9. Make a Day of It
Going to the farmers’ market is one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday. There’s plenty to do and see, new food to try.
10. Spread the Word
Farmers’ markets can’t survive without tons of local support. I always make a point to tell my friends when I’ve discovered something awesome at the market. By using a word-of-mouth recommendations, you can make sure your favorite market sticks around for years to come.