How to Shop Your Local Farmer’s Market

I am a huge advocate of shopping local! It’s better for your health, and the health of your community. A lot of people are intimidated by their local Farmer’s Market because they don’t know what to do when they get there.  Here are 2 good resources to help you start shopping with your local famers!

Posted by Mandel Smith at Families Living Well: Shopping at a farmers market can be fun, and also good for you and your community. Some of the many reasons for shopping at a farmers’ market include. The freshest foods are available. You can meet the farmer who grew your food. You can save money, especially on organic produce. Farmers markets also provide a livelihood for many farmers who might not be farming without the market opportunity.

Enjoy your time at the market. Take time to browse before buying. Take time also to compare the offerings of different vendors. Try new foods. Buy something you’ve never had before. Ask the farmer the best way to enjoy it. Never cook kohlrabi? At the farmers market, a grower can probably tell you how to select and prepare it. Chat with the farmers. Getting to know the local growers or farmers is part of the fun of shopping at farmers markets. You’ll become a wiser shopper.

After shopping go straight home. Plan to bring your purchases home before running any more errands. If you leave fresh produce sitting in a hot car it can wilt.

Farmers’ markets have different days and hours of operation so check that your local market is open before you leave home to shop. Here a few additional tips for shopping at a farmers’ market.

Bring your own bag. Bring a basket or a light shopping cart. Recycle plastic bags, by bringing them with you and asking the farmers to use them instead of theirs. Keep an inexpensive cooler in your car to keep produce fresh and safe during hot weather.

Shop early. You’ll find the best selection early in the day, so try to get there when the market first opens.

Go without a firm list. This probably goes against what you’ve learned in the past, but the point of going to the farmers’ market is to get the freshest possible produce. So plan on buying whatever looks best and plan your meals around your purchase.

Here is another great article on shopping farmer’s markets on About.com

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