Who doesn’t love a little lavender? It always smells good and keeps me calm. Don’t these look fabulous?I am officially obsessed with going to the farmer’s market. I decided to head to the farmer’s market this weekend and check out the beautiful produce. This month would not be complete until I put some fresh flowers on the table. Going to the farmer’s market is a great way to spend your Saturday or Sunday. There is nothing like taking a stroll through the market. When I first started going to a farmer’s market, it was a bit overwhelming. But it can be fun strolling through the market and taking in all the scenery. Going to the market can not only be amazing but you can always get in touch with local artists. I figured I would give up some tips on how to make the most out of the farmer’s market. So grab your paper and pen and take a little note.
Better late than never. When it comes to the time, it can be hard to decide when to go. If you arrive early, then you have a better chance of having first pick. Also, it is less crowded and it can be less hot in the morning. If you come later, then you can miss a lot of good produce since people will often buy the best looking stuff first. What is left may be sold at a cheaper price though. More vendors are willing to give a discount at the end. No one wants to pack up everything. I think it is best to get in there mid-day,; that way you can enjoy the farmer’s market, scope out the place, and see if you like anything. It gives you a chance to relax and people watch. Mid-day is when the market comes alive.
BYOB. Bring your own bag. Especially if you want to do a little shopping. Not everyone has plastic bags. Bringing your own makes it easier to carry your goodies. I am sure that you have a reusable bag lying around. Just grab it before you walk out. And if you do not have one, most grocery stores sell them and they are inexpensive.
Cash is key. Now that you have grabbed your reusable bag, get some small bills. Not all vendors have a credit card machine. Plus when you have cash, it helps you control how much you are spending. I am sure you do not want to get hit with a credit card fee over a two dollar piece of fruit. Also some vendors do not accept larger bills or they might not have change for larger bills.
Have a shopping adventure. Before you make it to the market, understand how much the produce is really worth. Understand that five dollars for two tomatoes is not a good deal. No sense in paying triple the price if you can find better deals elsewhere. It is good to know how much things cost outside this particular market. Having the ability to do your entire shopping at the farmer’s market is a task but it can happen with some planning. Farmer’s markets do sell other things like baked goods, coffee, bread, and eggs. Enjoy your time shopping around and get to know the merchants. Have fun with the shopping.
To be organic. If you are unsure about what organic produce looks like, just ask. The people you need to talk to are right in front of you. Sometimes organic food looks different. They are not as shiny or perfect-looking as non-organic produce. Sometimes organic produce has a little dirt on it and that’s alright. There is nothing wrong with it. Plants grow in the ground or fall off trees and sit in the dirt before somebody scoops them up. You can just wash the dirt off organic produce just like you would wash any fruit or vegetable.
On the table. After you get everything you need, it is time to get home and take care of your produce. First thing you should do is wash all produce carefully. I know we are all used to getting it from the store and not having to do much to the produce. The farmer’s markets are the freshest you can ever get. So make sure you wash them properly and store them in a proper container Also, be more mindful that the produce from a farmer’s market has a shorter life. Buy only what you need and are able to freeze, just in case you are not able to cook it all. There is nothing worse than having your produce go bad.
Summertime is upon us and farmer’s markets are going to be popping up everywhere. So next time you see one, stop on by. It gives you a chance to really connect and support your community. And it is always a great time for the family. You are now fully ready to conquer the market. Go on and enjoy your time!
Special thanks to Morris Farms for letting us take pictures with their beautiful produce!